Last year saw very important developments in the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) industry in South Africa. The Department of Energy (DoE) announced the long-awaited financial close of Window 3 and the outcome of the CSP-specific Window 3.5, under its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). The news seems to herald a promising 2015, so what exactly should the industry expect this year? What are the main challenges that CSP will have to overcome to thrive in the country?
The combination of an excellent solar resource (over 2,800 kWh/m2/year, one of the best in the world); vast land availability; the country’s strong manufacturing capacity and an increasing commitment to CSP deployment from the government and financing institutions, make for an encouraging picture.
Factors such as the increasing energy demand, high electricity prices and limited proven reserves of oil should hasten the implementation of CSP at a wider scale. According to the DoE, as much as 40,000 MW of new generation capacity is needed by 2025 to cover the demand. As a result, the country has set a target of installing 1,200 MW of CSP by 2030, which could be increased to 3,300 MW should the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) update be approved.
Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2015
(Madrid-based Técnicas Reunidas will no longer be the EPC for the Redstone CSP project. KaXu Solar One has recently entered into operation)