Falling PV Prices Good for Desertec

A longer article in the German ZEIT points out some problems with CSP solar technology, mostly the fact that it is right now more expensive than PV. Because of the extremely fast price reductions for PV the article thinks the Desertec project is in trouble.

That gets things backwards. If PV is cheaper than CSP (even considering storage), then desert projects will use PV instead of CSP, but they won’t get stopped by costing less. It is of course exactly the other way round. Lower costs for PV would lead, all things equal, to lower average capacity costs for a large scale desert project.

And of course if one wants to continue the very successful feed-in policy that has brought down cost for PV from very high levels in about a decade, the thing to do would be to introduce a 50 cent feed-in tariff for CSP electricity generated in Northern Africa or in Mongolia and delivered to the market in Germany, which would cost exactly nothing right now, since there are no projects finished and no power lines to Germany available anyway.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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