A concentrating solar power value proposition for South Africa
CITATION: Gauche, P., Von Backstrom, T. W. & Brent, A. C. 2013. A concentrating solar power value proposition for South Africa. Journal of Energy in Southern Africa, 24(1):67–76, doi:10.17159/2413-3051/2014/v24i1a3122.
The original publication is available at https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/jesa/index
Concentrating solar power (CSP) offers the potential for a high degree of localization and an alternative strategy to meet electricity demand for South Africa in a future of uncertain conventional resources. The integrated resource plan (IRP) makes strides to introduce renewables to the electricity generation system by 2030, but we argue that the proposed energy mix is too reliant on resources that are not only unsustainable but also at risk in the short to medium term. Coal and other conventional resources may be more limited than originally anticipated, which if true, requires action to be taken soon. CSP is currently the only sustainable and dispatchable energy technology that could domestically supply a significant portion of South Africa’s electricity needs. A balanced mix of PV, wind and CSP can provide the energy supply needed in South Africa, but steps are required soon to take advantage of the localization potential and excellent sustainable energy resources.