Solar power being one of the most attractive areas in energy investment, the solar market is not just growing, it is also becoming more competitive. Although there are several solar technologies the most promising one for large scale utilization is Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) also known as Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology. Solar thermal power plants are large-scale high-tech installations, which utilize the sun's energy by concentrating the direct irradiation to generate electricity.
With the growing concern about climate change, developing alternatives to coal and natural gas combustion have taken on a new urgency, making the construction of commercial solar thermal power plants a promising option. In the medium term, many countries may not only cover a significant part of their electricity demand by solar thermal power, but may start to export solar electricity and produce large amounts of desalted water to develop agriculture and forestry in arid zones and in regions effected by growing deserts by using the waste heat of power generation.
Future growth depends on the successful cost reduction and the development of hybrid concepts combining solar thermal with other renewable technologies such as geothermal, biomass etc. enabling the power plant to run full load hours and allowing a more stable and feasible plant operation.