Pike Reseach reported on Dec 20, 2011 that, an estimated 70% decline in solar PV prices, and an easier permitting regime due to solar PV’s modularity, has contributed to the impression that CSP had missed its window of opportunity, and would be left behind.
A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that when combined with thermal energy storage – currently the most cost-effective storage approach available – CSP offers a higher per kilowatt-hour (~1.6 cents) value over solar PV due to its capacity and reliability benefits.
Bright Source Energy, a firm offer “Power Tower” CSP technology. The company has one of the largest pipelines of utility-scale solar technology projects, and it recently announced a deal with Southern California Edison (SCE) to integrate thermal energy storage into existing power purchase agreements that will increase revenues from power sales by as much as three times due to the better match with peak power needs.
The full report explains how Bright Source Energy bucks CSP trends.