An analysis of local manufacturing capacity, economic and trade impact of concentrating solar power (CSP) in South Africa
conference contributionposted on 18.08.2021, 00:26 by O Craig, DF Duvenhage, Alan BrentAlan Brent, F Dinter
The recent signing of outstanding power purchase agreements (PPA's), as part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REI4P) in South Africa (SA), was received with mixed reactions. While the renewable energy sector and agencies involved in sustainable development applauded the courage of the SA government, the signing was fiercely challenged with industrial actions by local labour unions for the fear of job losses. Wind, Solar PV and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) dominated the signed PPAs and are thus perceived as major threats to current power-sector labour in SA. Although, the SA court had thrown out the cases against the signed IPPs, it is important to understand the impact of the specific renewable energy technology (RET) on the economy, trade and the local jobs. This study assesses the SA local manufacturing capabilities for CSP related services, and analysed the economic impact of CSP adoption. An expert elicitation was carried out and the strength and the challenges were identified, the economic and social benefits of improvements were estimated, including the employment opportunities, and the overall impacts on trade and economy. It was also found that an increase in CSP manufacturing capability could only be achieved in an emerging market such as SA, if the local economy benefits directly from the deployment of CSP.