Sep 27, 2012
Solar-thermal sector’s industrialisation potential to be probedBack
Energy|Gas|Industrial|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|System|Systems|South Africa|Electricity Generation Mix|Energy|Generation Technologies|Glass Manufacturing|Non-energy Benefits|Potential Energy|Steel|Steel Fabrication|Wind Solutions|Dipuo Peters|Jonathan De Vries|Michael Goldblatt|Pancho Ndebele|Southern Africa|CSP Technologies|Generation Technologies
© Reuse this
The project, which will be funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation, or GIZ, is being supported by the Southern Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association (Sastela) and South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry.
Sastela executive committee member Pancho Ndebele, of Emvelo, tells Engineering News Online that international and local consultants are in the process of being selected and appointed by GIZ and that the study should begin during October.
The results, which its backers hope will influence the future allocation of CSP within South Africa’s future electricity generation mix, should be published during the first quarter of 2013 – coinciding with a review of the Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP2010).
Various scenarios will be interrogated, including the IRP2010’s proposal for the development of 1 200 MW of CSP capacity by 2025, which forms part of a larger plan to add 45 637 MW of new generation capacity by 2030, including 17 800 MW of renewable-energy capacity.
However, other scenarios will also be examined, including:
Solafrica director Michael Goldblatt says the aim is to offer policymakers and stakeholders insight into the potential energy and non-energy benefits that could arise from embracing CSP technologies, including issues such as localisation, job creation and pricing.
Sastela believes the relative immaturity of CSP when compared with solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind solutions offers South Africa an opportunity to become a global leader in the development and production of the systems and components used in such facilities.
Interest has already been shown from existing glass manufacturing, steel fabrication and civil engineering companies in aligning their business models to the growth and development of the sector.
But Ndebele says investments will only be made once there is greater certainty about the role of CSP in the future mix, while large-scale CSP-led industrialisation will depend primarily on whether or not the current allocation for the technology is increased.
Goldblatt acknowledges that the high cost of production from solar thermal plants is a concern to authorities. However, he says the fact that CSP plants can include storage distinguishes the technology from other renewables as its electricity can be dispatched.
On a levelised-cost basis CSP is more expensive when compared with wind and solar PV, with the initial projects emerging as preferred bidders through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), bidding prices of between 250c/kWh and 260c/kWh.
Through the study, however, Sastela is hoping to demonstrate that the ability of CSP plants to operate as mid-merit and base-load facilities lowers total system costs when compared with other renewable technologies.
There is also potential to use the technology to lower the use of coal at conventional power stations, by building plants that produce steam using solar energy alongside existing coal-fired power stations. In addition, hybrid CSP-gas plants can be built where the gas is used to ensure that the facility operates as a base-load power plant.
Sastela CEO Jonathan de Vries believes the study will help highlight these potential advantages and benefits.
However, in the meantime he says it is also critical that the current uncertainty surrounding the role that CSP will play in future REIPPP bid windows be resolved. This is because preferred bidders have already absorbed the full 200 MW allocation released during the first two bid windows.
De Vries is, therefore, looking forward to the release of a new determination by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, which should indicate whether there will be an additional CSP allocation in the third bid window, which will close in May 7, 2013.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Construction News
As part of Goscor Group, Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) has been providing best practice in industrial warehousing equipment solutions for the past 30 years. The company provides a range of market-leading products, including Crown, Doosan, Bendi and Hubtex. This...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...