Resurge of Concentrating Solar Power in Africa & MENA

Published On : 08 January, 2018

Solar energy is identified as the best replacement to other conventional fossil fuel energy sources and is used to reduce carbon emission by effectively meeting the electricity needs. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is one of the method of renewable power generation which is fueled by the heat and other endless clean and free energy resources such as wind and sunlight. CSP plants with thermal energy storage is one of the important renewable resource which provides clean electric power as well as flexibility and reliability of electric power systems. CSP is also called as concentrating solar thermal power. Thermal energy storage allows CSP to store some of the solar energy captured during the daylight hours and shift energy production overnight. CSP is currently more expensive than photovoltaic (PV) technology, longer time to set up acts as a major restraining factor for the growth of the market.
Africa and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region holds some of the most advantageous potential for the development of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in the world. In the MENA region, CSP has started to penetrate, with many future projects under implementation in Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria. Morocco recorded highest annual installed capacity of 161 MW in CSP, and is leading towards its CSP goal of around 2 GW by 2020. Also, these are sundrenched regions, which have potential market for solar thermal energy storage as compared to gas. South Africa is expected to double its electricity capacity by 2030, with projections of 42% to be generated from renewables.