Wide-scale deployment of renewable energy is required to meet the global challenges of climate change and energy security. Solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy occupy the majority of global installed renewable energy technology (RET), but they are intermittent sources of energy and cannot be relied upon to solely meet the energy needs of the future. The problem of energy storage has therefore emerged as a significant barrier to the mass deployment of RET.
Concentrated solar power (CSP), with its inherent storage capacity, offers dispatchable electricity at large scale. However, its deployment to date has been restricted by high capital costs and the limited geographical locations with optimal solar radiation to attain required efficiencies. South Africa, with its abundant solar resources, has the potential to develop an export competitive CSP industry by leveraging existing capabilities in innovation, manufacturing and construction. It has however yet to attain this goal.
This study applies a qualitative, exploratory approach to understand the factors that are currently prohibiting South Africa from being the global leader in CSP by evaluating the functions of the Technological Innovation Systems (TIS) framework through semi-structured interviews with experts within the South African CSP TIS.
The assessment revealed the presence of a largely unfulfilled TIS, with the advancement of the current TIS contingent on further allocation of CSP procurement targets in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and sufficient support to develop entrepreneurial activity. A procurement-driven industrial policy strategy was recommended to address these barriers to further advance the diffusion of CSP towards the end goal of developing an export competitive industry in South Africa.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.