Concentrated solar power (CSP) is one of the few renewable power technologies capable of generating dispatchable electricity on demand. As such, it could play a key role in the transition of the European power system, both to supply bulk renewable power and to balance fluctuating wind power and solar PV. Despite this, CSP’s presence in most European policy agendas is largely missing. To some extent, this is because CSP is still a small and relatively immature technology, and no European country except Spain has deployed CSP at a commercial scale. This absence of CSP, with or without cooperation mechanisms, can lead to Europe missing an opportunity to improve its energy security. For this purpose, CSP has a vital role to play, as it is one of the few, if not the only, dispatchable renewable power technology that can be scaled up in Europe: CSP can thus be used to stabilise the system as the shares of fluctuating renewables increase. As these fluctuations are the biggest threat to a renewables-based power system, and especially as CSP would not add any further significant threats or vulnerabilities, CSP would increase the energy security of the European power system compared with any other climate-neutral configuration without CSP.
Escribano, G., Lázaro, L., Bersalli, G., & Lilliestam, J.(2021). Geopolitics and energy security of CSP deployment for domestic use and intra-European trade in the time of COVID-19.
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