Principal Solar, Inc (PSI; OTC Pink: PSWW), a publicly traded solar energy holding company executing a unique roll-up strategy to create the world's first distributed solar utility, today announced the release of “Technological Niches: Concentrated Solar Thermal vs. Photovoltaic Solar.” Authored by Brett T. Gage, research associate PSI, and Rick Borry, Ph.D., chief technology officer, PSI, the paper compares concentrated solar thermal (CST) and photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies, exploring how each succeeds or fails in relation to the electric power generation marketplace.
“Solar electricity will be cost-competitive without subsidies within three years”
“Solar electricity will be cost-competitive without subsidies within three years,” says Michael Gorton, CEO, PSI. “This paper explains the strengths and weaknesses of CST and PV technology at a time when both are approaching grid-parity power prices in many applications, making this a timely and highly relevant topic.”
The paper discusses the evolution of solar technology and demonstrates how CST and PV solar technology each serve different technological niches. As of 2012, PV has come to dominate all smaller-scale solar electricity applications, while retaining the majority market share even in commercial and utility-scale applications.
Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $20 million in new funding that will help integrate concentrating solar power (CSP) systems with fossil fuel power plants. These hybrid systems leverage the infrastructure of fossil fuel plants such as turbine and transmission systems, helping to reduce the cost of solar-generated electricity and bring CSP plants online quicker. CSP retains a strong niche at the utility-scale and in combined heat and power applications, where no amount of PV cost-reduction is expected to overcome its inherent technology advantages.
Source: Business Wire