CSP Today 17 August 2011.

CSP Today is pleased to share with you an exclusive insight into the barriers and drivers in developing CSP projects in South Africa. Unlike current established CSP markets (USA & Europe), South Africa has a state owned energy company, Eskom which provides 95 percent of South Africa’s electricity needs. However with increasing energy demands Eskom are now facing a serious energy supply challenge, making CSP and its dispatchable nature an attractive option.

Already in a vulnerable position because of the availability of the easier energy option
(increased use of coal, as a much cheaper source of energy production) there is a lack of
understanding amongst the decision makers that CSP is a mature technology. Worse, there
is a skills gap that will put this industry at an ongoing disadvantage as well as deterring
potential investors.

On a more upbeat note, South Africa has all the positive elements for strong development of
CSP. Excellent irradiation, with a potential nominal capacity over the whole of South Africa
of 547.6 GW; an identified and urgent need for energy consumption and storage capacity to
drive economic development, particularly in the underdeveloped parts of the country; the
very high priority of job creation; and a focus on strong and sustained national economic

In addition, South Africa’s industrial sector is already producing much of the raw materials
that large CSP projects require, and the big CSP players are waiting in the wings for the
finalisation of tariff agreements and procurement processes.

Whilst the parliamentary problems have meant slower progress, there has been a positive
shift at the political top towards the establishment and future development of renewables.
Observers are saying, definitively, that the political will is there; 2011 will see South Africa
hosting this year’s key climate change conference, the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which will be held in Durban, in December.

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