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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.22 n.4 Cape Town  2011


Industrial and commercial opportunities to utilise concentrating solar thermal systems in South Africa



Alan BrentI; Marthinus PretoriusII

ICentre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University
IIGraduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria




A solar energy technology roadmap has been developed for South Africa. The roadmap lists a number of technological systems that fulfil three requirements from a South African perspective. First, they have clearly been demonstrated or commercialised. Second, a local industry could be stimulated including the potential to export, with associate socio-economic growth; and the other requirements of government can be met in terms of improving energy security and access, and addressing climate change. Third, they have a medium to high R&D intensity, in terms of available capacity and associate resources needed to support the further development of the technological systems. Concentrated Solar Thermal systems feature prominently in the list of technologies. These systems can generate electrical power, then referred to as Concentrating Solar Power systems, typically in the 1 to 100 MW range for on- and off-grid applications. They can also simply produce heat, typically in the 100 to 1000°C range, primarily for commercial and industrial process applications. This paper discusses the international trends and drivers for these systems to generate power and heat, and then focuses on the specific potential in the South African context. A number of barriers to realizing the potential are discussed and recommendations are made accordingly to stimulate the growth of this industry sector in South Africa.

Keywords: Technology Roadmap, solar energy, concentrating, developing countries



Full text available only in pdf format.



The authors wish to thank the team members of the larger DST project that contributed to the development of the SETRM, and in particular those individuals that provided meaningful inputs to improve and finalise the SETRM document: Wikus van Niekerk of Stellenbosch University, Thomas Roos of the CSIR, and Dieter Holm and Johann Basson in their private capacities. The authors are further appreciative of the numerous participants of the workshops, and those individuals in the public and private sectors that availed themselves for personal interviews and consultations; without these engagements the SETRM would not have been possible. Finally, the authors express their gratitude towards the DST, for providing the financial support, and the CSIR, for coordinating and facilitating the larger project.



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Received 16 September 2010
Revised 19 April 2011

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