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Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013

Background
The biggest thermal solar plants in the world today comprise large land surfaces covered with
troughs placed in focus of mirror shaped half pipes or big boiler towers in the focus of many mirrors.
In both cases the mirrors are automatically following the sun. A typical modern feature on these
plants increasing their efficiency is the high working temperature making it possible to store heat in
molten salt during night, maintenance or cloudy hours.
These are often referred to as "SEGS: Solar Energy Generating Systems" or "CSP: Concentrated Solar
Power (CSP)."
In recent years, researches on solar cells that convert light directly into electrical power by means of
photoelectric effect have increased, solar energy referred to as "photovoltaic (PV)". These are not
included in the present investigation though they appear to be a game changer and seem to be the
future, my next target for studies.

For you who dont like many pages, here are some short conclusions.
If thermal solar power plants of 2013 are to solve the world need for electric energy they will
demand big land areas and investment costs. But still not big put in relation to the future
alternatives!
Land area calculations results, with thermal solar power efficiency included

The world Electricity demand placed in Sahara


compared with the EU27 electricity demand
placed in Spain.

The USA Electricity demand placed in


California/Arizona

The Australian electricity demand placed


somewhere in the Australian dessert.

The Kina electricity demand placed somewhere in


the desserts of Kina.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Placing huge fields with mirrors in a dessert like Sahara, building a corresponding grid and
infrastructure, is that possible taking in account political instability combined with instable weather
conditions? Possibly not and who knows?
But its hard to understand why Kina, Arabia, India, America and Australia dont use the steady,
costless and reliable sun insolation for producing electricity fully out! And its obvious that Spain
have a nice opportunity to supply Europe with green electricity!
Cost for building such an amount of thermal solar power plants.
An substantiated formula for calculating cost in trillions (Tera) US$ is shown by a linear equation,
extracted by data from the biggest thermal solar power plants 2013 below. is the installed power
necessary for a certain calculated power demand
$ = (5,2519 + 148,92)/10^6

(Tera or Trillion US$)

For given demands the installation costs will be:


Hours in a year Ha=

8760
consumption
Annual elctricity demand 2013=
PWh
World, Sahara
20,2
EU27, Andalucia
3,1
America, Mojave dessert
8,9
Australia
0,3
Kina
4,9

Egen
GWh
2,02E+07
3,10E+06
8,90E+06
3,00E+05
4,90E+06

C
%
40
40
40
40
40

Pi
MW
5,8E+06
8,8E+05
2,5E+06
8,6E+04
1,4E+06

Installation cost the


year of 2013
MUS$
Trillion US$
3,03E+07
30,3
4,65E+06
4,6
1,33E+07
13,3
4,50E+05
0,4
7,34E+06
7,3

The world need of electricity the year 2013 was around 20,2 Pwh (PetaWh) (2,02*10^7 GWh
GigaWh) which would mean 30,3 TUS$ (Tera US$) (=Trillion US$) for building the thermal
solar power plants needed. No cost for fuel over years!
But the cost is in a range hard to understand. Therefore it is interesting to compare with
corresponding investments/cost on the alternatives:
Nuclear power
Corresponding figures for nuclear power is not easy to extract because of cost for mining, refining,
storage of waste and more, which mostly is not encountered when calculating nuclear costs.
Installation cost for nuclear power is ranging up to 11 US$/W according to Basic Economics of Nuclear Power, Ian Schultz, March 19, 2012
Stanford University: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2012/ph241/schultz2/

The world electricity demand in nuclear power of 20,2 PWh would cost 25,4 TUS$ to build. Powering
these plants with uranium is easy to calculate using the year 2013 world uranium price and normal
operational data. Not speculating in increase of price during a 10 year period this cost will be 1,3
TUS$.

An installed nuclear power of 20,2 PWh (PetaWh) (2,02*10^7 GWh GigaWh) would
cost 26,7 TUS$ (T=Tera or Trillion) to build and run for 10 years which is in the
same range as the thermal solar power, even without considering the loss off
a natural resource, cost increase of fuel, environmental destruction,

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


restoration of degraded land areas for the uranium handling, waste
deposition and the cost for cleaning up after the nuclear catastrophes!
Fossile power
Corresponding figures of coal power have the same problems with correct calculation as nuclear
power for the similar reasons concerning the environment. An example:
Plant Washington is an 850 MW supercritical, pulverized coal-fired, base load, Greenfield power generating facility. The plant is located in
rural east-central Georgia near Sandersville in Washington County. First, the plant turned out to be expensive: Early estimates put the cost
of constructing it at $2.1 billion, though watchdog groups calculate that the price tag would be $3.9 billion or more. That expenditure, plus
the cost of burning coal, could send locals electricity bills sky-high if the plant is completed, according to local consumer advocate Georgia
Watch.2
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115324/plant-washington-meet-last-new-coal-burning-plant-america

An installed coal fired power of 20,2 PWh would cost 11,5 TUS$ to build. Powering these plants with
coal is easy to calculate using the year 2013 world coal price. Not speculating in increase of price
during a 10 year period this powering cost will be 3,7 TUS$.
An installed coal fired power of 20,2 PWh (PetaWh) (2,02*10^7 GWh GigaWh) would cost 15,2
TUS$ (T=Tera or Trillion) to build and run for 10 years which is in the same range as the thermal
solar power, even without considering the loss off a natural resource, increase of cost for the fuel,
environmental destruction including risks with the climate and restoration of degraded land areas
after the coal handling!

Objectives on thermal solar power fact investigation


Going out from known facts given on thermal solar power plants bigger or equal to 100 MW:
Which are their key data?
Which is their true solar plant efficiency?
How large areas of land are really needed to cover human need for energy?
Is it possible to predict cost for human needs of sustainable energy?

Chart of annual average daily insolation on Earth

Given on the map in KWh/m2/day


2-2,9
3-3,9
4-4,9
5-5,9
6,0-6,9
Annual corresponding KWh/m2/year 1095-1424 1445-1796 1445-1796 1840-2146 2190-2505

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


The solar power plants built up to today represent sustainable energy production. The question is
whether the allegations of solar power are correct?
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert

Facts around the biggest thermal power plants in the world


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_solar_thermal_power_stations
http://www.nrel.gov/csp/solarpaces/by_country.cfm

Key data
6) Al Land area (Km2) sum of used land area
7) Am Mirror area (Km2) sum area of all mirrors
8) Pi Installed maximum power on the turbines (MW) is a measure of the plant size.
9) Egen Annual generation (GWh) electricity generated during one year.
10) Esun Annual sun insolation on land area (KWh/m2) representing the local sun radiation energy.
13) Ha Hours in a year
15) Annual average power plant land area insolation power (MW) on place.
16) Annual average power plant mirror area insolation power (MW) into the used mirror area.
17) Pa Annual average power (MW) produced in the turbines.
18) Annual average power related to land area (W/m2, MW/Km2) a figure used for calculating the
surface area required for bigger energy needs.
19) Annual average power related to mirror area (W/m2, MW/Km2) a figure used for calculating
the surface area required for bigger energy needs.
20) Mp Mirror packing density (land m2/mirror m2) for how dense the mirrors are packed.
21) C Capacity (related to installed power) (%) provides a tool to compare plants. The annual giga
watt hours gives average power for a year dividing by the number of hours in a year. The capacity
factor is: average power during one year / installed power * 100" (%)
22) Cm Efficiency (related to mirror insolation) (%) related to the power plant mirror insolation.
23) Cl Efficiency (related to land insolation) (%) related to the power plant land insolation.
24) Imagined full power utilization (days / year) notional number of days run with installed capacity
gives a sense of the dilemma of solar power plants, for example how often the sun shines and how
sandstorms and otherwise cause breakdowns.
25) Annual operating cost per installed MW (MUS$/Mw/year), gives a means to calculate operating
cost for bigger needs.
16) Construction cost per installed MW (MSek/Mw), gives a means to calculate construction cost for
bigger needs.

Mojave Desert California and Sonoran Desert Arizona, United State


The largest thermal solar power plants in the world are located in USA and Spain today.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Dagget, Kramer Junction and Harper Lake, Mojave Desert California
A cluster of nine plants in the Mojave Desert is largest in USA 2013. These power plant turbines are
powered with fossil gas during nights, mirror maintenance and low insolation conditions. One of
them is reported economically fully out:
1 Owner
2 Name
3 Year
4 Lokation
5 Type
6 Land area
7 Mirror area
8 Installed power
9 Annual generation
10 Annual sun insolation
11 Annual operating cost
12 Construction cost
13 Hours in a year
14

Trough type, fossile gas backup.


0,78
0,25
30
72,9
2100
3
90
8760

km2
km2
MW
GWh
kWh/m2
MUS$
MUS$
hours

M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G for "billion"


or "Giga"

1 Owner
2 Name
3 Year
4 Lokation
5 Type
6 Land area
7 Mirror area
8 Installed power
9 Annual generation
10 Annual sun insolation
11 Annual operating cost
12 Construction cost
13 Hours in a year
14

NextEra Energy Resources


Kramer Junction SEGS V
Start of construction 1986, 9 all plants have been genarating elektricity since 1990
Mojave Dessert, Calefornia, Southwest United States, 64 km southwest Las Vegas
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
17 Annual average power
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
20 Mirror packing density
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
24 Imagined full power utilization
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
26 Construction cost per installed MW

186
60
8
10,7
33,3
3,1
28
14
4,5
101
0,04
3,0

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Solar Energy Generating Systems; NextEra Energy Resources,BrightSource Energy and Google
Dagget, Kramer Junction and Harper Lake
Start of construction 1984, 9 all plants have been genarating elektricity since 1990
Mojave Dessert, Calefornia, Southwest United States, 64 km southwest Las Vegas

Trough type, fossile gas backup.


6,47
2,12
354
662
2100
xxx
xxx
8760

km2
km2
MW
GWh
kWh/m2
MSek
MUS$
hours

M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G for "billion"


or "Giga"

15 Annual land area sun insolation power


1552
MW
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
508
MW
17 Annual average power
76
MW
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
11,7
W/m2, MW/km2
19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
35,6
W/m2, MW/km3
20 Mirror packing density
3,1
land m2/mirror m2
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
21,3
%
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
14,9
%
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
4,9
%
24 Imagined full power utilization
78
days/year
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
US$/kWh
26 Construction cost per installed MW
#######
MUS$/MW

Ivanpah, Mojave Desert California


The Ivanpah project, is the largest solar power plant in the world. Read more at
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/14/worlds-largest-solar-thermal-plant-storage-comes-online/#KkVEAUG1MeIxWrUe.99

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


This power plant will contain the largest fully solar-powered steam turbine-generator the nearest
years when it produces electricity according to plan 2014.
Solar thermal power is the only form of solar that can run around the clock, even after the sun goes
down. This is possible because its relatively cheap to store heat produced during the day in the
form of molten salt which can be used to make steam at night.
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519596/worlds-largest-solar-thermal-power-plant-delivers-power-for-the-first-time/
NRG Energy,BrightSource Energy andGoogle
Owners
Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
Name
Start of construction 2010, start of elektricity genaration 2014
Year
Mojave Dessert, Calefornia, Southwest United States, 64 km southwest Las Vegas
Lokation
Type
Tower type, molten salt heat storage.
Land area
14,20
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
3404
Mirror area
2,603
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
624
Installed maximum power
392
MW
17 Annual average power
123
Annual generation
1079
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
8,7
Annual sun insolation
2100
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
47,3
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
5,5
Construction cost
2200
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
31,4
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
19,7
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
3,62
"billion" or "Giga"
24 Imagined full power utilization
115
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
5,61
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Solana, Arizona
The owner of this plant is Spanish and the plant has a molten salt thermal storage.
Abengoa Solar
Owner
Solana Generating Station
Name
Start of construction 2008, start of elektricity genaration 2013
Year
Phoenix, Arizona (Gila Bend), (70 miles southwest of Phoenix)
Lokation
Type
Trough type, molten salt heat storage
Land area
12,57
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
3013
Mirror area
2,2
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
527
Installed maximum power
280
MW
17 Annual average power
108
Annual generation
944
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
8,6
Annual sun insolation
2100
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
49,0
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
5,7
Construction cost
2000
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
38,5
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
20,4
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
3,6
"billion" or "Giga"
24 Imagined full power utilization
140
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
7,14
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Andalusia, Extremadura and the Tabernas Desert, Spain


The first or the second largest SEGS , thermal solar power plants in the world are located in Spain
today. Spain is without hesitation a leading nation on thermal solar power plants.
Solar Complex, Solaben 1, 2, 3 and 6 in Extremadura
Extremadura Solar Complex, comprising four 50 MW plants, without energy storage system, is what
Abengoa claims the largest solar complex in Europe.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owners
Abengoa
Extremadura Solar Complex, Solaben 1,2,3and 6
Name
Construction was started in 2010 and it commenced operation in 2013
Year
Lokation
Logrosn city, Cceres region, Exremadura Community, Spain
Type
Trough type, fossile gas backup.
Land area
4,40
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
1011
Mirror area
1,2
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
276
Installed maximum power
200
MW
17 Annual average power
46
Annual generation
400
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
10,4
Annual sun insolation
2012
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
38,1
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
3,7
Construction cost
608
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
22,8
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
16,6
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
4,5
"billion" or "Giga". Fossile backup
24 Imagined full power utilization
83
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
3,04

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Solar complex Andasol, plateau of Guadix in Andalusia


Because of the high altitude (1,100 m) and the semi-arid climate, the site has exceptionally high
annual direct insolation. The capacity related to installed power is big, probably because the Andasol plant
uses tanks of molten salt to store solar energy. A full thermal reservoir holds 1 GWh of heat, enough to run
the turbine for about 7.5 hours at full-load, in case it rains or after sunset.
ACS Group (Andasol 1,2&3), Solar Millennium, Ferrostaal, Stadtwerke Mnchen, RWE npower
Owners
Andasol Solar Power Station
Name
Start of construction 2006, start of elektricity genaration 2009 and is now in action.
Year
On the plateau of Guadix in Andalusia close to Sierra Nevada Spain.
Lokation
Type
Trough type, molten salt heat storage
Land area
6,00
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
1507
MW
Mirror area
1,53
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
384
MW
Installed maximum power
150
MW
17 Annual average power
57
MW
495
Annual generation
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
9,4
W/m2, MW/km2
Annual sun insolation
2200
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
36,9
W/m2, MW/km3
Annual operating cost
9
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
3,9
land m2/mirror m2
1140
Construction cost
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
37,7
%
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
14,7
%
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
3,8
%
"billion" or "Giga"
24 Imagined full power utilization
138
days/year
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
0,02
US$/kWh
26 Construction cost per installed MW
7,60
MUS$/MW
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013

Solnova complex, Seville, Andaluca


Solnova Complex, comprising three 50 MW plants is without energy storage.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owners
Abengoa Solar
Solnova 1,3 and 4
Name
Construction was started in 2009 now operational
Year
Lokation
Andalucia, Sevilla south of Spain
Type
Trough type, fossile gas backup.
Land area
3,45
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
792
Mirror area
0,9
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
207
Installed maximum power
150
MW
17 Annual average power
39
Annual generation
339
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
11,2
Annual sun insolation
2012
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
43,0
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
3,8
Construction cost
710
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
25,8
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
18,7
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
4,9
"billion" or "Giga".
24 Imagined full power utilization
94
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
4,73

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Extresol complex, Torre de Miguel south of Spain
The Extresol Complex, comprising three 50 MW plants, is provided with an energy storage system
enough to run the turbines for about 7.5 hours at full-load.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owners
ACS/Cobra Group
Extresol 1, 2 and 3
Name
Construction was started in 2009 now operational
Year
Lokation
Andalucia, Torre de Miguel south of Spain
Type
Trough type, molten salt heat storage
Land area
5,85
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
1448
Mirror area
1,53
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
379
Installed maximum power
150
MW
17 Annual average power
61
Annual generation
537
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
10,5
Annual sun insolation
2168
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
40,1
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
3,8
Construction cost
950
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
40,9
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
16,2
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
4,2
"billion" or "Giga".
24 Imagined full power utilization
149
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
6,35

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Valle 1 and Valle 2 in Andaluca close to Gibraltar


There are some more 100 MW plants around in Spain and USA not shown here.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owners
Torresol
Valle 1 and Valle 2
Name
Construction was started in 2009 and it commenced operation in 2012
Year
Lokation
San Jose' del Valle, Cadiz in the south of Spain
Type
Trough type, molten salt heat storage
Land area
4,60
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
1024
Mirror area
1,15
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
256
Installed maximum power
100
MW
17 Annual average power
37
Annual generation
320
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
7,9
Annual sun insolation
1950
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
31,8
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
4,0
Construction cost
700
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
36,5
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
14,3
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
3,6
"billion" or "Giga".
24 Imagined full power utilization
133
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
7,00

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

10

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013

11
Planta Solar PS20 in Andaluca close to Gibraltar
This plant represents one of the experiment power plants in Spain, now part of history.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owner
Abengoa Solar
Planta Solar 20 (PS20)
Name
Construction was started in 2006 and it commenced operation in 2009
Year
Lokation
Sevilla Sanlcar la Mayor, Sevilla in Andalucia, south Spain close to Gibraltar
Type
Tower type, fossile back up
Land area
0,85
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
Mirror area
0,1506
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
Installed maximum power
20
MW
17 Annual average power
Annual generation
48,0
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
Annual sun insolation
2012
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
Annual operating cost
3,26
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
Construction cost
109,8
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G for "billion" 23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
or "Giga"
24 Imagined full power utilization
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
26 Construction cost per installed MW

195
35
5
6,4
36,4
5,6
27,4
15,8
2,8
100
0,07
5,49

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Australia
Australia seems to have big plans for the coming years. But 2013 the solar power industry have just
started in a very small scale.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Kogan Creek Solar Boost, Queensland, Australia
The biggest solar power station in Australia today is just boosting a big coal fired 750 MW power
plant with 44 MW sun power daytime. The linear fresnial reflectors seem smart by giving an
extremely dense mirror packing.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owner
CS Energy
Kogan Creek Solar Boost
Name
Construction was started in 2011 operational 2014
Year
Lokation
Queensland, Australia
Type
Solar Boost to a coal power plant, Linear Fresnel reflector
Land area
0,30
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
75
Mirror area
0,252
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
63
Installed maximum power
44
MW
17 Annual average power
5
Annual generation
44
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
16,7
Annual sun insolation
2200
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
19,9
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
1,2
Construction cost
92,88
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
11,4
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
7,9
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
6,7
"billion" or "Giga".
24 Imagined full power utilization
42
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
2,1

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
US$/kWh
MUS$/MW

Arab countries and Middle East


The industrialized countries in this region have promised to put a lot of money on solar power the
coming years as well. So far there is not much done on thermal solar plants.

Shams 1, United Arab Emirates


The oil producing Arab countries have big plans for the coming years but so far there is only one big
size plant. Are these countries really having correct priorities where to put their money?

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

12

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Owners
Abengoa Solar (20%), Masdar (60%)
Shams 1
Name
Construction was started in 2010, operational 2013
Year
Lokation
United Arab Emirates, 120 km southwest of Abu Dhabi
Type
Trough type, fossile gas backup.
Land area
2,50
km2
15 Annual land area sun insolation power
552
Mirror area
0,63
km2
16 Annual mirror area sun insolation power
139
Installed maximum power
100
MW
17 Annual average power
24
Annual generation
210
GWh
18 Annual avarage power related to land area
9,6
Annual sun insolation
1934
kWh/m2 19 Annual avarage power related to mirror area
38,1
Annual operating cost
xxx
MUS$
20 Mirror packing density
4,0
Construction cost
600
MUS$
21 Capacity (related to installed power)
24
Hours in a year
8760
hours
22 Efficiency (related to mirror insolation)
17
M stands for "Million" or "Mega" and G stands for
23 Efficiency (related to land insolation)
4,3
"billion" or "Giga".
24 Imagined full power utilization
88
14
25 Annual operating cost per installed MW
#######
26 Construction cost per installed MW
6,00

MW
MW
MW
W/m2, MW/km2
W/m2, MW/km3
land m2/mirror m2
%
%
%
days/year
MUS$/Mw/year
MUS$/MW

Summary
Focus is put on available key data for evaluation of how to supply the worlds, or parts of the worlds
need for electrical energy and to calculate cost.

Efficiency of using land area


These results and formulas for capacity C (21), mirror efficiency Cm (22), land efficiency Cl (23) and
mirror packing density Mp=land area/mirror area (20) are using the formulas:
=

100 , = 100 , = and =

Summary of the biggest thermal solar power stations in the world with key data 2013.
Mi rror

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

Name

Location

Type

Dagget, Kramer, Harper Lake


Ivanpah
Solana generating station
Solaben
Andasol Solar Power Station
Solnova
Extresol
Valle
Shams 1
Cogan Creek
Juelich Solar Tower
Summary, average
Summary, average

USA, California Dessert


USA, California Dessert
USA, Arizona Dessert
SPAIN, Extremadura
SPAIN, Guadix
SPAIN, Andalucia
SPAIN, Andalucia
SPAIN, Andalucia
United Arab Emirates
Australia, Qensland
Germany
Global
Global

Trough,fossile back up
Solar tower, thermal storage
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile back up
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile back up
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile gas backup.
Trough fresnel, fossile back up
Solar tower, thermal storage
Trough, fossile backup
Trough,thermal storage

La nd

Mi rror

Power
capacity C effi ci a ncy effi ci a ncy pa cki ng
Pi
Cm
Cl
Mp
Land/mi
MW
%
%
%
rror
354
21,3
14,9
4,9
3,1
392
31,4
19,7
3,62
5,5
280
38,5
20,4
3,6
5,7
200
22,8
16,6
4,5
3,7
150
37,7
14,7
3,8
3,9
150
25,8
18,7
4,9
3,8
150
40,9
16,2
4,2
3,8
100
36,5
14,3
3,6
4
100
24,0
17,2
4,3
4
44
11,4
7,9
6,7
1,2
1,5
7,6
6,2
0,7
9,4
201
23,5
16,9
4,7
3,7
170
38,4
16,4
3,8
4,4

It is obvious that the capacity of solar plants are to be much bigger if they are equipped with
thermal storage, compare average 23,5 with 38,4 %.
But how should it be explained that the efficiency related to the mirror and land area is the same or
even less for plants with thermal storage, compare16,9 with 16,4 % and 4,7 with 3,8 %?
It seems clear that at solar plants which are optimized for solar power and thermal storage got to
have more mirror surface. Since Am is bigger, both Cm and Cl will be lower.
Neither Cm nor Cl is used as a selling argument for solar power plants. Why are the mirrors so
sparsely spaced on land surface both in plants with- and without thermal storage Cl=4,4 and Cl=3,7?

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

13

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Is it because it is not an issue so far? But it should be, if these facilities would be used to solve the
world's energy needs!
With focus on the mirror packing and high efficiency, future thermal solar power plants might then
have a capacity C=40%, mirror efficiency of Cm=17%, mirror packing of Mp=4 and a land efficiency
of Cl=17/4=4,3%
The formula for calculating the land area for needs and regions will be:
=

14
Area calculations
Annual elctricity demand 2013=
World, Sahara
EU27, Andalucia
America, Mojave dessert
Australia
Kina

consuption
PWh
20,2
3,1
8,9
0,3
4,9

Egen

Esun

GWh KWh/m2
2,02E+07
2400
3,10E+06
2100
8,90E+06
2100
3,00E+05
2100
4,90E+06
2100

Cl

Al

%
4,3
4,3
4,3
4,3
4,3

Km2
1,96E+05
3,43E+04
9,86E+04
3,32E+03
5,43E+04

Ci rkel
di a meter D

km
499
209
354
65
263

This is illustrating the true land area Al (km2) to be covered with mirrors, imagined by a circular
surface with a diameter D (km), provided for supplying the need for electricity in the world
compared with the demands of EU27, USA, Australia and Kina. Some locations are exemplified. The
calculation is simple, accurate and based on well-established input data from reality described
above.
The circles are shown below placed on respective localizations.

The world Electricity demand placed in Sahara compared


with the EU27 electricity demand placed in Spain.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

The USA Electricity demand placed in


California/Arizona

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013

The Australian electricity demand

The Kinas electricity demand

Cost for building solar plants, operational cost and electricity cost.
The cost for building new solar power plants in a scale supposed to supply the world need for electric
energy is by nature a difficult issue. The figures below should almost be considered as prototype
costs with such a perspective! The big scale production needed would reduce the building costs in big
extent. The size of such a reduction is impossible to guess, can it be halved? Such speculations are
not used here when calculating costs even if it should. But it is used in discussions and conclusions.
The costs for running and maintaining the plants are not compared because these figures seem hard
to find. When comparing we suppose they are equal. On the other hand cost for fuel is taken into
consideration. It is rather obvious that these costs are to low when considering fossil fuels and
nuclear fuels.
Summary of the biggest thermal solar power stations in the world with key data 2013.
Name

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

Location

Dagget, Kramer, Harper Lake USA, California Dessert


Ivanpah (Planta Solar PS20)
USA, California Dessert (Spain)
Solana generating station USA, Arizona Dessert
Solaben
SPAIN, Extremadura
Andasol Solar Power Station SPAIN, Guadix
Solnova
SPAIN, Andalucia
Extresol
SPAIN, Andalucia
Valle
SPAIN, Andalucia
Shams 1
United Arab Emirates
Cogan Creek
Australia, Qensland
Extresol 1
SPAIN, Andalucia
Summary, average
Global
Summary, average
Global

Type

Trough,fossile back up
Solar tower, thermal storage
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile back up
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile back up
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile gas backup.
Trough fresnel, fossile back up
Trough parabolic, thermal storage
Trough, fossile backup
Trough,thermal storage

Annual
InvestPower ConstrucPower
operating
ment
Pi
tion cost
Pi
cost
cost
MUS$
US$
MW
MW MUS$
/MW
/KWh
354
3,0
0,04
30
90
0,07
392
5,5
392
2200
280
7,1
xxx
280
2000
200
3,0
xxx
200
608
150
7,6
0,02
150
1140
150
4,7
xxx
150
710
150
6,4
xxx
150
950
100
7,0
xxx
100
700
100
6,0
xxx
100
600
44
2,1
xxx
44
92,9
50
380
201
4,2
0,04
170
6,7
0,05

The cost per generated KWh is not found for the clusters of big plants, only occasional figures for
parts of them:
http://www.energybc.ca/profiles/solarthermal.html#streferences........http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal_energy......
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy list solar thermal power costs around 0.13 to 0.17 US$ per kilowatt/hour. Compared to wind,
another alternative energy source, which produces kilowatt hours at 0.08 US$ each, solar may seem less desirable. Given the facts that
solar thermal power is reliable, can deliver peak load and does not cause pollution, a price of US$0.10 per kWh[83] starts to
become competitive, although a price of US$0.06 has been claimed. With some operational cost a simple target is 1 dollar (or
lower) investment for 1 kWh production in a year.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

15

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Just looking at todays cost for solar plants with thermal storage would be: average construction cost
~6,7 US$/MW, annual operating cost 0.02 US$/KWh and the cost for the generated electricity 0.1
US$/kWh the year 2013.
But using the value 6,7 US$/MW is not correct and ought to be 5,2 US$/MW which is seen on the
regression analysis below:
2500
Fossile backup

Building cost (MUS$)

y = 5,6014x + 180,88
2000

Thermal storage

y = 5,2519x + 148,92

16

1500
Thermal storage
optimistic

1000
y = 3,6587x + 36,75
500

Linjr (Fossile backup)


Linjr (Thermal
storage)

0
0

100

200

300

Linjr (Thermal storage


optimistic)

400

Installed power (MW)

We can see a trend on construction cost on the lower side shown by the linear equation (going from
millions (Mega) to trillions (Tera)):
$ = ($/10^6 = 5,2519 + 148,92)/10^6
Here is the installed power necessary for a certain calculated power demand the year of 2013.
This gives a result for installation costs:
Hours in a year Ha=

8760
consumption
Annual elctricity demand 2013=
PWh
World, Sahara
20,2
EU27, Andalucia
3,1
America, Mojave dessert
8,9
Australia
0,3
Kina
4,9

Egen
GWh
2,02E+07
3,10E+06
8,90E+06
3,00E+05
4,90E+06

C
%
40
40
40
40
40

Pi
MW
5,8E+06
8,8E+05
2,5E+06
8,6E+04
1,4E+06

Installation cost the


year of 2013
MUS$
Trillion US$
3,03E+07
30,3
4,65E+06
4,6
1,33E+07
13,3
4,50E+05
0,4
7,34E+06
7,3

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/more_highlights.cfm

The world need of electricity the year 2013 was around 20,2 Pwh (PetaWh) (2,02*10^7 GWh
GigaWh) which would mean 30,3 TUS$ (Tera US$) (=Trillion US$) for building the thermal
solar power plants needed. No cost for fuel when calculating over time!
This cost is in a range hard to understand. Therefore it is interesting to compare with corresponding
investments/cost on the alternatives:

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


Nuclear power comparison
The installation cost for nuclear power is ranging between 5 and 11 US$/W according to Basic
Economics of Nuclear Power, Ian Schultz, March 19, 2012 Stanford University:
http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2012/ph241/schultz2/

The world demand for electricity 20,2 PWh the year 2013 recalculated to an annual average daily
power will be 2,3 TW (T=Tera or Trillion watt). This means an installation cost (ranging from 11,5
TUS$ to) 25,4 TUS$ (T=Tera or Trillion US$ on the upper side which is used here without hesitation).
In June 2013, the approx. US $ cost to get 1 kg of uranium as UO2 reactor fuel (at current spot
uranium price) was 2360 US$/Kg. The electric power per kg uranium (assuming a burn-up rate of 45,000 MWd/t,
and work out to a fuel cost of 0.77 US c/kWh) make 360000 kWh/kg. A 1000 Mwe nuclear power plant reqires 30
ton/year which means that generated electricity in this nuclear plant the year 2013 will be 10,8
TWh/year, the cost per Wh for this power is 0,000007 US$/Wh and the cost for of electricity during this
year 70,8 MUS$/year (million US$/year) for this plant.
The figures for this plant scaled to the world consumption during 10 years means a fuel cost of 1,32 TUS$ which
is surprisingly low.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Economic-Aspects/Economics-of-Nuclear-Power/

So an installed nuclear power of 20,2 PWh (PetaWh) (2,02*10^7 GWh GigaWh) would
cost 26,7 TUS$ (T=Tera or Trillion) to build and run for 10 years which is in the
same range as the thermal solar power, even without considering the loss off
a natural resource, cost increase of fuel, environmental destruction,
restoration of degraded land areas for the uranium handling, waste
deposition and the cost for cleaning up after the nuclear catastrophes!
Fossil power comparison
Plant Washington is an 850 MW supercritical, pulverized coal-fired, base load, Greenfield power generating facility. The plant is located in
rural east-central Georgia near Sandersville in Washington County. First, the plant turned out to be expensive: Early estimates put the cost
of constructing it at $2.1 billion, though watchdog groups calculate that the price tag would be $3.9 billion or more. That expenditure, plus
the cost of burning coal, could send locals electricity bills sky-high if the plant is completed, according to local consumer advocate Georgia
Watch.2
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115324/plant-washington-meet-last-new-coal-burning-plant-america

An installed coal fired power of 20,2 PWh would cost 11,5 TUS$ to build. Powering these plants with
coal is easy to calculate using the year 2013 world coal price. Not speculating in increase of price
during a 10 year period this powering cost will be 3,7 TUS$.

So an installed coal fired power of 20,2 PWh (PetaWh) (2,02*10^7 GWh GigaWh)
would cost 15,2 TUS$ (T=Tera or Trillion) to build and run for 10 years which is
in the same range as the thermal solar power, even without considering the
loss off a natural resource, increase of cost for the fuel, environmental
destruction including risks with the climate and restoration of degraded land
areas after the coal handling!
Conclusions
The investigations above so far only have been considering satisfying the world need for electricity. It
has only been concentrating on thermal solar power as well.

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

17

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


A problem with solar power which many takes for granted is the lack of storage capability and the
given fact that problems with mobile energy seems not solved. This is discussed below.

The world need for electricity


It is obvious that even the old well tried and tested thermal solar power plants easily can supply
the worlds need for electricity!
The investment costs will be in parity with the alternatives even in short term and completely
obvious superior to the alternatives in long term.
It is natural, doubting the idea of building huge plants and a grid in the worlds best location
Sahara, due to this regions political instability!

But why is it so far from reality 2013 to put all investments on solar power in parts of the
world like Kina, Australia, USA, Spain, Saudi Arabia and many other single countries with
stable political structure, money and superior insolation?
That is spelled ignorance, fossil thinking and reactionary lobbying. The world economies really
need something to believe on and get a sustainable focus in the energy matters. As it is today too
much effort put on the fossil and nuclear dirty alternatives sucking power from the future real
sustainable alternatives.
In Germany, the political establishment has taken truly radical measures, but they are really solo on
this and have to endure so much criticism for its "Energiewende". Sweden is not alone in meeting up
with this criticism and the politicians partly are right, in that the Germans put market forces out of
play. But the question is if the market forces really have the capability of ever doing what the
Germans are calling an Energiewende?
Above this, for example the 89 million (mega) Sec transaction the Swedish Vattenfall bought the
Dutch oil, coal and gas industry Nuon is about to be a real good business. Crassly note that with the
boom in shale gas that goes on in U.S., combined with the problems with Russian gas that appeared
in 2014, Nuon gas business might be profitable within short, but no politician dares to say that!
And as for the advocates of nuclear power, one can only note a lack of imagination and a total
blindness to all the environmental damage!
Let's just hope that all investments in coal, gas and oil that we see today will be used as a lever to make the
giant "Energiewende" that the world is waiting for. It can actually be a perfectly acceptable idea provided it
takes place fast.

Energy accumulation and mobile energy


Lack of imagination is one thing which is typical for all who states that solar energy never can replace
oil and gas due to the problems with storage capability (accumulation). Huge efforts today toward
improved batteries make electric cars more and more a realistic alternative. True but we are talking
about replacing oil, gas and make the solar power work the year around! This will never be done by
means of batteries.
And now we're talking about the really big bet on solar power, which is not mentioned in the
present paper but will be a next topic for studies:

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

18

Worlds biggest thermal solar plants 2013


One basic ingredient for producing hydrogen is electricity! Suppose we make the land area covered
with mirrors ten times bigger using the energy for producing hydrogen as well. Then the world
would never more suffer from lack of energy, not for rockets, cars, ships, working machinery and
landscape contractors.
There is science on recirculation carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into a cycle with hydrogen
increasing the energy level of hydrogen gas.
In a transition phase, one can also let the energy-rich fossil gas be included in this process.
Hydrogen made by electricity and water will then both solve the accumulation problems and fuel
vehicles! Hopefully without any damage on our precious Mother Earth.

Will there be new environmental problems?


For sure we will have new environmental problems to solve! One of these is the huge area covered
with mirrors.
For example it is well known that the building of Ivanpah in the California dessert was about
to kill a big population of rare turtles. Big efforts were made to move the population to
another place.
If large areas are to be covered with mirrors in the deserts, there will be a redistribution of
heat that will change the climate for the better or for the worse. Who knows?
Production of hydrogen in this scale can cause environmental problems to be solved! But
burning hydrogen and burning synthetic carbon gas recycling atmospheric carbon dioxide is
no problem!
But these are small problems compared with the dirty alternatives. These are so tiring to talk
about because of all the alarmists who do not seek solutions to the problems.
Alongside this, a new human dilemma caused by all the "fossil" scientists who claim they want
to compensate for atmospheric carbon dioxide using a variety of truly dangerous practices has
shown up!
In such a case it must be better to do climate experiments with mirrors in deserts!
The eventual environmental problems producing huge quantities of hydrogen will be an
interesting topic for new studies!

A game changer in the solar power industry


In recent years, researches on solar cells converting light directly into electrical power by means of photoelectric
effect have increased, solar energy referred to as "photovoltaic (PV)". These are not included in the present
investigation though they seem to be the future.
The reason for a game change is

These solar cells seem to be capable to work only using day light which means they can be used in a
wider ranges of locations on earth.

The price is steadily going down making them compete able and profitable.

The grid is used backwards and there seem to be no big need for building big new grid systems.

Human urban systems are by nature using the surfaces needed for these solar panels, city
building roofs and walls. This is a kind of human way to imitate nature with something similar to
the photosynthesis. Very attractive!

Future integration of roofs, windows and walls with solar cells will cause a new way of building houses!
But is there a big environmental problem with huge solar cell industries? Another topic for discussion
and studies!

Lars Snsterd 2012-11-16

19