The future allocation of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in South Africa to be decided in the coming weeks
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) may increase its actual capacity by 2,100 MW in the REIPPPP with the new proposed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) may increase its actual capacity by 2,100 MW in the REIPPPP with the new proposed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The South African CSP market could be 1.5 times bigger than the current largest market, Spain.
The Department of Energy (DoE) has called for public comment on an updated version of the IRP. This period closes in two weeks and the responses will be used to inform the Cabinet who will decide in March the future allocation of South Africa’s energy mix for the next twenty years. CSP stands to increase substantially – up to 3,300 MW – at the expense of wind capacity.
Recently, the CSP Today Markets Report 2014 highlighted the small size of the market and the uncertainty of MW capacity allocated to CSP as the most important barriers to market entry in South Africa, as determined by stakeholders. The new IRP dissipates doubts on these issues opening a whole new window of opportunities for local and international companies to develop business throughout the value chain as it provides the market certainty of a continued demand for CSP in the long-term.
Globally there is currently over 3300 MW of CSP in operation, most being connected to the grid in Spain and US. In South Africa, the technology is not limited to the grid and has the potential to develop in industries with a high consumption of energy such as mining, desalination and process heat. The technology has the potential to hybridize too as it has been proved to operate with biomass (Termosolar Borges Plant, Spain) and combined cycle gas (Kuraymat Plant, Egypt).
South Africa’s clean energy commitment is solid and as the Minister of Energy, Ben Martins, recently said “the preferred bidders in the last round will contribute approximately R4.4bn to socioeconomic development in the country”. At CSP Today South Africa 2014 (8th – 9th April, Cape Town), official decision makers from the Department of Energy, the National Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry will comment on the new MW allocations and new business opportunities emerging in the country.
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