Pasadena, Calif.-based eSolar said today its signed a deal with Johannesburg-based Clean Energy Solutions to sell and market the startup's solar thermal power plants in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The deal gives eSolar a presence on three continents. The company is operating a 5-megawatt demonstration facility in California, and has signed deals with developers in the U.S. and India (see eSolar completes 5-MW power-tower solar plant as NRG waits in wings).
Cleantech.com also has a new report on the state of the solar thermal market - Cleantech Group picks winners and losers in concentrated solar thermal.
Sub-sectors of the concentrated solar thermal (CST) market still offer ample opportunities for venture-stage capital investment, according to a report released today by the Cleantech Group.
In addition to high-profile emerging CST technologies, many of the high-growth areas lie outside traditional solar investing, including innovations to components such as steel, coating material and heat-transfer fluid, the report says.
The Cleantech Group’s Concentrated Solar Thermal report predicts trough-based CST systems will be most prevalent until 2012 or 2013 but then could be displaced by power towers, compact linear Fresnel reflectors (CLFR) and dish-engine developers if the technology advances more quickly. Still, the report says, additional investment opportunities exist in follow-on rounds for all the technologies.
"Troughs will dominate the first generation of CST. It's project financeable today because we know the costs, we know the technologies, and there are no technology risks. Developers have a roadmap to bring down the cost," said Brian Fan, senior director of research for the Cleantech Group.
"But if the power-tower concept is proven in the field in test operations, because of higher thermodynamic efficiency and higher scalability, I believe power tower will be the next generation of CST plants past 2012," he said.