60 million $ for CSP research

With this financial support, the US government aims to sink the cost of solar thermal power to 6 Ct/kWh by the end of the decade. To do this, it will support research into technologies that have the potential for much higher efficiency, lower cost, and/or more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial CSP systems.

The development initiatives that are eligible for support are in the fields of advanced collectors, advanced receivers, advanced power cycles and "seedling" CSP concepts.

The target of 6 Ct/kWh is extremely ambitious. A roadmap from 2010 that was drawn up by the DOE's CSP sub-programme had set a target of 10 Ct/kWh. The roadmap was devised in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The DOE estimates the current cost of solar thermal power to be around 21 Ct/kWh.

The pre-application deadline for financial support from the new programme ends on 22 November of this year.

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