Is Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) a feasible option for Sub-Saharan Africa?: Investigating the techno-economic feasibility of CSP in Tanzania

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There is a noticeable shortage of solar energy related information in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially about Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology. The Tanzanian official generation expansion plan till 2040 showed high dependency on coal and gas fired power plants and a negligible role of renewables other than large hydropower. This study investigates the techno-economic feasibility of CSP technology in Tanzania, through modelling Parabolic Trough and Solar Tower CSP technologies using the System Advisor Model developed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Under debt interest rate of 7%, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for the modelled Solar Tower plants ranges from 11.6 to 12.5 ¢/kWh while for the modelled Parabolic Trough plants ranges from 13.0 to 14.4 ¢/kWh. The LCOE increases significantly from 14.4 ¢/kWh (at 7% debt interest rate, for government-led projects) to 25.9 ¢/kWh (at 18% debt interest rate, for private investors-led projects). The study concludes that the feasibility of CSP in Tanzania is strongly dependent on the financing conditions. Policy mechanisms to de-risk CSP projects’ investment through accessing lower debt interest rate are required to ensure the competitiveness of CSP projects in the country.

TidsskriftRenewable Energy
Sider (fra-til)1224-1240
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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