According to "Solar Thermal Power Market to 2020", in 2011 Spain was the primary stakeholder in the global concentrated solar power (CSP) market with a massive 65% of the total installed capacity, with the US coming in second at 33%.
The 190 page report, priced at £2160, notes that Spain only entered the CSP market in 2007, with the construction of the 11 Megawatt (MW) capacity PS10 solar tower. Since then the country has raced ahead of the pack and in 2011 boasted a total installed CSP capacity of 1,002.2 MW – the largest amount in the world by a significant margin.
The obvious advantage of abundant sunshine combined with impressive government support has seen CSP boom in Spain. In 2005 the country’s government enacted an ambitious plan for its renewable sector, the Renewable Energy Plan (PER). This plan outlined particular attention to the solar power industry, and as the Spanish government has declared a commitment to adhere to the European Union 2020 agenda on emissions and renewable energy shares, the Spanish solar thermal sector is expected to have a strong future.
The US set up its first solar thermal plant in 1985 and so became to the first country to produce solar thermal electricity with commercial viability. Growth has been relatively modest since this pioneering effort, but GBI Research predicts that, with redoubled commitment, the country’s CSP market will increase from 508.5 MW in installed capacity in 2011 to 25,815 MW by 2020, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 63%.