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Article

Comparison between Concentrated Solar Power and Gas-Based Generation in Terms of Economic and Flexibility-Related Aspects in Chile

1
Fraunhofer Chile Research Foundation, Santiago 7820436, Chile
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, UC Energy Research Center, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Rosato
Energies 2021, 14(4), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041063
Received: 12 January 2021 / Revised: 5 February 2021 / Accepted: 6 February 2021 / Published: 18 February 2021
The energy sector in Chile demands a significant increase in renewable energy sources in the near future, and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies are becoming increasingly competitive as compared to natural gas plants. Motivated by this, this paper presents a comparison between solar technologies such as hybrid plants and natural gas-based thermal technologies, as both technologies share several characteristics that are comparable and beneficial for the power grid. This comparison is made from an economic point of view using the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) metric and in terms of the systemic benefits related to flexibility, which is very much required due to the current decarbonization scenario of Chile’s energy matrix. The results show that the LCOE of the four hybrid plant models studied is lower than the LCOE of the gas plant. A solar hybrid plant configuration composed of a photovoltaic and solar tower plant (STP) with 13 h of storage and without generation restrictions has an LCOE 53 USD/MWh, while the natural gas technology evaluated with an 85% plant factor and a variable fuel cost of 2.0 USD/MMBtu has an LCOE of 86 USD/MWh. Thus, solar hybrid plants under a particular set of conditions are shown to be more cost-effective than their closest competitor for the Chilean grid while still providing significant dispatchability and flexibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: ancillary services; Concentrated Solar Power; natural gas industry; power industry; renewable energy sources; solar energy ancillary services; Concentrated Solar Power; natural gas industry; power industry; renewable energy sources; solar energy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hernández Moris, C.; Cerda Guevara, M.T.; Salmon, A.; Lorca, A. Comparison between Concentrated Solar Power and Gas-Based Generation in Terms of Economic and Flexibility-Related Aspects in Chile. Energies 2021, 14, 1063. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041063

AMA Style

Hernández Moris C, Cerda Guevara MT, Salmon A, Lorca A. Comparison between Concentrated Solar Power and Gas-Based Generation in Terms of Economic and Flexibility-Related Aspects in Chile. Energies. 2021; 14(4):1063. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041063

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hernández Moris, Catalina, Maria T. Cerda Guevara, Alois Salmon, and Alvaro Lorca. 2021. "Comparison between Concentrated Solar Power and Gas-Based Generation in Terms of Economic and Flexibility-Related Aspects in Chile" Energies 14, no. 4: 1063. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14041063

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