South African Reports

International Reports

The Solar Thermal Electricity Global Outlook 2016 report is released by Greenpeace International, SolarPACES and ESTELA (European Solar Thermal Electricity Association) and shows that solar thermal electricity (STE) could supply as much as 12 percent of the world’s power needs by 2050. It also shows how STE could create millions of jobs.

The report modelled several future scenarios for technology growth. Given favourable policy conditions for STE, along with a strong uptake of energy efficiency, the scenarios show that STE could employ as many as 2.7 million people by 2030, and deliver a significant share of the world’s electricity by 2050. STE could also reduce global CO2 emissions by more than 37 billion tonnes. That is equivalent to four years of CO2 emissions from China.


Ivanpah Solar Electric Avian and Bat Monitoring Plan – 2013-2014 Report
April 2015
Released by the California Energy Commission, the Ivanpah Avian and Bat Monitoring Plan Annual Report, required by state and federal permit agencies and prepared by leading independent environmental consultants HT Harvey and Associates, presents a detailed analysis of avian impact data at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System for the period October, 2013 to October, 2014. The results indicate that migratory bird mortality during the monitoring period would be categorized as low, according to the report. In addition, none of the surveys detected fatalities among federal threatened or endangered avian species.

The Economic and Reliability Benefits of CSP with Thermal Energy Storage: Literature Review and Research Needs, 2014
First published in 2012, this revised and expanded technical report incorporates the latest research on the economic and reliability benefits of CSP with thermal energy storage and serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding the design and operational attributes of CSP plants with thermal energy storage.

An Analysis of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage in a California 33% Renewable Scenario
March 2013
Due to its flexibility in dispatching power to the grid, the value of CSP with storage is $32/MWh to $40/MWh higher than the value of a Photovoltaic (PV) plant.

Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage in a Production Cost Model
November 2012
Concentrating solar power deployed with thermal energy storage provides a dispatchable source of renewable energy. The value of CSP with thermal energy storage, as with other potential generation resources, needs to be established using traditional utility planning tools.

Solar-Augment Potential of U.S. Fossil-Fired Power Plants
February 2011
The “solar-augment” of fossil power plants offers a lower cost and lower risk alternative to stand-alone solar plant construction. This study ranked the potential to add solar thermal energy to coal-fired and natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants in the United States. The study found a potential for over 11 GWe of parabolic trough and over 21 GWe of power tower capacity.

The Value of Concentrating Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage
This paper examines the value of CSP and thermal energy storage in four regions in the southwestern United States. The analysis shows that TES can increase the value of CSP by allowing more thermal energy from a CSP plant’s solar field to be used, by allowing a CSP plant to accommodate a larger solar field, and by allowing CSP generation to be shifted to hours with higher energy prices.

Changes in the Economic Value of Variable Generation at High Penetration Levels: A Pilot Case Study of California
June 2012
This report estimates the long-run economic value of variable renewable generation with increasing penetration using a unique investment and dispatch model that captures long-run investment decisions while also incorporating detailed operational constraints and hourly time resolution over a full year.

US plans to cut CSP costs by 75%
The US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative aims to make solar energy cost- competitive with conventional electricity generating technologies by 2020. Achieving this goal will require dramatic decreases in the cost structure of solar technologies—on the order of a 75% reduction—across all markets including residential, commercial, and utility-scale deployments of solar.

Overview of US CSP prospects
A symposium held by the George Washington University Solar Energy Institute provides a comprehensive overview of latest developments in CSP.

Reports: Cost, Performance and Key Trends 2012

Concentrating solar power – drivers and opportunities for cost-competitive electricity
March 2011
This report, commissioned for the Garnaut Climate Change Review 2011 Update, provides a technical analysis of the potential for CSP to provide low cost, renewable electricity in Australia and outlines the advantages and opportunities for advancing this form of solar technology.

Concentrating solar power: its potential contribution to a sustainable energy future
November 2011
This study examines the current status and development challenges of CSP, evaluates the potential contribution of CSP in Europe and the MENA (Middle East and Africa) region to 2050, and identifies actions that will be required to enable that contribution to be realized.

Energy and Mining Board Discussion Paper No. 2 – Regulatory and Financial Incentives for Scaling up Concentrating Solar Power in Developing Countries
The World Bank
4 June 2011
Concentrating solar thermal (CST) technologies have a clear potential for scaling up renewable energy at the utility level, thereby diversifying the generation portfolio mix, powering development, and mitigating climate change. A recent surge in demand for solar thermal power generation projects in several World Bank Group (WBG) partner countries shows that CST could indeed become an important renewable energy technology that would be able to provide an alternative to conventional thermal power generation based on the central utility model.

EPRI – Solar Augmented Steam Cycles for Coal Plants: Conceptual Design Study
April 2010
A recent EPRI study quantitatively evaluated a range of solar augmented steam cycle design options for existing coal power plants. The scope of the study included both a conceptual design modeling effort to evaluate a broad range of solar integration design options and two detailed case studies at pulverized coal plants.

Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal – New York Academy of Sciences
We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually. Many of these so-called externalities are, moreover, cumulative. Accounting for the damages conservatively doubles to triples the price of electricity from coal per kWh generated, making wind, solar, and other forms of non-fossil fuel power generation, along with investments in efficiency and electricity conservation methods, economically competitive. We focus on Appalachia, though coal is mined in other regions of the United States and is burned throughout the world.

Concentrating Solar Power Technology Brief IEA-ETSAP and IRENA© Technology Brief E10 – January 2013