I just met the CFO of SolarReserve, one of the top players in CSP (concentrated solar power, aka solar thermal). This hasn’t been a good couple of years for CSP; it’s been a time in which the price of both natural gas and PV, both mature technologies, have fallen precipitously, leaving CSP dangling, looking hard for the investment dollars necessary to perform the R&D and drive the scale necessary to compete. CSP, however, has the virtue of supporting very inexpensive energy storage compared to PV and wind, thus providing dispatchability — both during short periods of peak demand and the hours after the sun goes down.
I hope we don’t let CSP languish into obscurity. I remain bullish in the medium- and long-term; I believe I’ll live to see a day at which we’ve built out our grid and can transmit power over long distances; at that point, we’ll realize how strategic this technology can be.