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Efficiency and costs of different concentrated solar power plant configurations for sites in Gauteng and the Northern Cape, South Africa

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      Abstract

      Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants can play a major role in the future South African electricity mix. Today the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Procurement Programme aims to facilitate renewable energy projects to access the South African energy market. In spite of this incentive programme, the future role of CSP plants in South Africa has yet to be defined. Using hourly irradiance data, we present a new method to calculate the expected yield of different parabolic trough plant configurations at a site in each of Gauteng and the Northern Cape, South Africa. We also provide cost estimates of the main plant components and an economic assessment that can be used to demonstrate the feasibility of solar thermal power projects at different sites. We show that the technical configurations, as well as the resulting cost of electricity, are heavily dependent on the location of the plant and how the electricity so generated satisfies demand. Today, lev-elised electricity costs for a CSP plant without storage were found to be between 101 and 1.52 ZAR2010/kWh el, assuming a flexible electricity demand structure. A CSP configuration with Limited Storage produces electricity at costs between 1.39 and 1.90 ZAR2010/kWh el, whereas that with Extended Storage costs between 1.86 and 2.27 ZAR2010/kWh el. We found that until 2040 a decrease in investment costs results in generating costs between 0.73 ZAR2010/kWh el for a CSP plant without storage in Upington and 1.16 ZAR2010/ kWh el for a configuration with Extended Storage in Pretoria. These costs cannot compete, however, with the actual costs of the traditional South African electricity mix. Nevertheless, a more sustainable energy system will require dispatchable power which can be offered by CSP including storage. Our results show that the choice of plant configuration and the electricity demand structure have a significant effect on costs. These results can help policymakers and utilities to benchmark plant performance as a basis for planning.

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      Cost development of future technologies for power generation—A study based on experience curves and complementary bottom-up assessments

       Lena Neij (2008)
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        High Temperature Metal Hydrides as Heat Storage Materials for Solar and Related Applications

        For the continuous production of electricity with solar heat power plants the storage of heat at a temperature level around 400 °C is essential. High temperature metal hydrides offer high heat storage capacities around this temperature. Based on Mg-compounds, these hydrides are in principle low-cost materials with excellent cycling stability. Relevant properties of these hydrides and their possible applications as heat storage materials are described.
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          High-Temperature Solid-Media Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Thermal Power Plants

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] University of Stuttgart Germany
            [2 ] University of Johannesburg South Africa
            [3 ] University of Stuttgart Germany
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            jesa
            Journal of Energy in Southern Africa
            J. energy South. Afr.
            The Research Energy Centre of the University of Cape Town (Cape Town )
            2413-3051
            2013
            : 24
            : 1
            : 00
            S1021-447X2013000100010

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO South Africa
            Categories
            Economics
            Energy & Fuels
            Environmental Sciences
            Nuclear Science & Technology
            Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary

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