A high-level delegation from academia, the research community, industry and civil society met in Pretoria to discuss “The Role and Value of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) in the South African Power System.” This workshop was partly in reaction to the fact that in the recently released Draft Integrated Resource Plan 2016 (Draft IRP2016) there was no allocation made for CSP in the SA electricity generation mix up to 2050. This seems to have been based on modelling assumptions that are outdated, do not reflect the current market reality, and do not acknowledge the dispatchability and operational flexibility of CSP power stations. The aim of the workshop was to discuss and debate the value of CSP technology and the contribution it could make to the SA Power System.
At the workshop the results of a number of studies completed in South Africa, the United States and Germany, some specifically for the South African power system, were shared that highlighted the value of CSP in the SA power system. The presentations can be found here – http://ow.ly/PaJn308bEwr.
After robust debate the participants agreed on the following:
CSP technology can play a significant role in a cost optimised South African power system based on technical merits, with the added value that CSP provides. The following points support an appropriate allocation of CSP in the IRP 2016.