Paper presented to the 3rd Southern African Solar Energy Conference, South Africa, 11-13 May, 2015.
This article illustrates the prospects as well as the problems that an implementation of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) with storage technology in the South African infrastructure entails. A short overview of current CSP technologies is given. The paper attempts to examine various factors that have an effect on the cost of CSP plants and offers an overall review of the opportunities CSP has for the country. Furthermore, it attempts to give a forecast on how the costs of CSP will develop and explains why a near-future decision, concerning the South African power system, is necessary. The paper concludes that South Africa, with its high solar irradiation values holds a naturally very high potential for this technology and suggests integrating CSP as a peak-load server in the short term, due to the financial incentives the morning and evening demand cause. Assuming decreasing technology costs in the long term, it could as well function as a suitable intermediate- or base-load alternative.