Posted on Oct 08, 2012 |

This article appeared in Power Engineering International. You can access the story here.

By Jayesh Goyal

Solar energy has thrived in recent years because of innovation in technology and business growth strategies. These strategies include power purchase agreements that let end users defray the costs of an initial upfront investment, component manufacturer partnerships that streamline solar integration, and even at the residential level where online purchasing options have made the process of going solar easier. One such growth strategy in the concentrated solar power (CSP) sector is the use of solar 'booster' and hybrid plants.

Analysts expect that over the next decade there will be a 20-fold increase in CSP generation, and the ability to pair CSP with fossil fuels will be key to this growth. Adding a booster to an existing facility is a cost-effective way to improve a plant's performance and avoid or lower its emissions. CSP boosters can also provide grid stability in places with inadequate electric infrastructure. August's blackout in India left more than 600 million people without power. CSP is a good fit for the Indian subcontinent because of the region's high level of solar irradiation coupled with a growing demand for energy. And CSP augmentation can help address India's lack of available coal and high natural gas prices, which are necessitating new, lower-cost solutions to increase output.

Read the rest of the article here.