Only 1 Solar Thermal Plant built out of 5 Plants India had allotted 50% of the power target to be generated during Phase 1 of the JNNSM to thermal power energy. That was a stupid policy move as I had pointed out at that point of time. Not to beat my own drum but the […]

Desertec Project to close down I have always been a big critic of the Desertec project which envisaged building huge solar thermal plants in North Africa and transporting that power to Europe. The main reason for my negativity was the massive advancements that solar PV technology has made in comparison to the solar thermal technology […]

India has awarded 500 MW of solar thermal plants during JNNSM Phase 1, as it gave both solar PV and solar thermal technology an equal boost. However solar thermal technology is losing out to solar PV even during 2011; and we had pointed it out that giving solar thermal technology too much money did not […]

However Solar Thermal Technology is finding a niche in Hybrid Fossil Fuel Power Plants . The reason that Solar Thermal is gaining traction in Solar Hybrid Plants is

1) They can use the existing Electricity and Transmission Infrastructure of the new Fossil Fuel Plant or the Existing One

2) Solar Thermal Technology in most cases generate Steam which can be used by the Turbines of the Fossil Fuel Plant saving additional costs

Solar Thermal Energy has been losing out in the last couple of years to solar photovoltaic energy which is seeing a huge increase in demand amidst very low prices.Some of the major solar thermal energy projects in the globe have been converted into solar pv installations due to its lower costs.Some of the major solar thermal energy companies like Solar Millennium have sold their solar thermal portfolios to other companies while Stirling Power Systems has gone bankrupt.Tessera has sold its solar thermal plants which had gotten DOE Loan Guarantees in California to Solar Developers who have made these solar thermal plants into solar panel ones.However there are some companies like eSolar and Brightsource Energy which are powering ahead with their technologies and projects with backing from big industrial MNC conglomerates like GE and Areva.Their Power Tower Technologies are supposedly more efficient than the mainstream parabolic toughs that are used.