Spain and America Dominate Solar Thermal Market

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Spain and the United States currently dominate the global solar thermal market thanks to the continued soaring of fossil fuels and supporting government policies, according to a new report by GBI Research, a market-leading provider of business intelligence reports.

The GBI Research report, Solar Thermal Power Market to 2020 — Utilities to Drive Future Developments in the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Market, showed that in 2011 Spain was the primary stakeholder in the global CSP market with a commanding 65 percent of the total installed capacity. An astounding achievement considering that Spain did not have a CSP installation until 2007.

The US came in second in the global market with 33 percent of total installed capacity.

Sanlúcar la Mayor, Spain

Spain built the 11-megawatt-capacity PS10 solar tower in 2007, but since then the country has seen their total installed capacity race to 1,002.2 megawatts, the largest tally in the world by a significant amount.

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 on the other hand installed its first solar thermal plant back in 1985, becoming the first country to produce solar thermal electricity with commercial viability.

Growth has been relatively slow since then, with the country’s total installed capacity only reaching 508.5 megawatts by 2011. But GBI Research believe that over the next eight years this number will explode, growing to 25,815 MW by 2020, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 63 percent thanks to plans to commission numerous major CSP including the La Posa Solar Thermal plant and the Ranegras plant – both based in Arizona.

Source: GBI Research
Image Source: Wim Hertog

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Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

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