While South Africa makes evident steps towards increasing concentrated solar power (CSP) competitiveness, repetition of inflexible project parameters may hinder cost reduction in reality. Aalborg CSP encourages the market to design technical specifications for steam generation systems that enable value creation in technology enhancement as well as foster optimised technology development. With design parameters adequate to traditional power boiler requirements, Aalborg CSP is able to reduce CAPEX of steam systems by up to 35%.
With the Department of Energy’s targets to generate 1,200 MWe from CSP sources by 2030, South Africa shows promising ability to enable substantial price reduction as well as make CSP more competitive at a global level. So far seven CSP projects totaling 600 MWe capacities have been awarded under the REIPPPP programme’s first three rounds to supply the country’s increasing electricity demands in a sustainable way. Even though Round 3 for CSP reflected a downward trend compared to Round 1 and Round 2 tariffs, other competing renewable technologies have shown a significant larger price reduction rate – leaving room for CSP to improve competitive advantage.