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domingo, febrero 5, 2023

C.S.P. industry holds great potential for the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa region is not only an ideal ground for concentrated solar power projects but also the ideal site for the concentrated solar power industry, a study on behalf of the World Bank by Ernst & Young, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems showed.

The M.E.N.A. region is already considered a good spot for C.S.P. projects as there are numerous areas in the region with abundant sunshine, low precipitation and unused, flat land. There is also a ready market for renewable energy from C.S.P. not just in the region but in Europe.

The study focused on Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan’s potential in building and developing a C.S.P. component and equipment manufacturing industry and the potential economic benefits this would have.

According to the study, all construction work at a C.S.P. project in the areas could be accomplished by local companies. This would include basic infrastructure, installation of the solar field, and construction of the power block and storage system.

Using local components could result in possible cost reductions ranging between 40 and 50 percent by 2025, making C.S.P. more cost effective as well as promoting local industry.

The region stands to benefit from an additional local value of 60 percent on average if existing industries in the region would shift their capacities to providing components and services for installing C.S.P.

According to Cristoph Kost, head of the study, the estimated effect due to local value added in the region would be $14.3 billion if sustainable, long-term demand is created. In addition, 60,000 to 80,000 new jobs in construction, manufacture, operation and maintenance can be created by C.S.P. in the region by 2025.

The third benefit would come from export opportunities for C.S.P. components. This could lead to additional revenues of more than $3 billion by 2020 and up to $10 billion by 2025.

Among the existing industries in the region, the study singled out Egypt and Algeria’s glass industry and the cable, electrical and electronics’ industries in Tunisia and Morocco as having high potential for integration into the C.S.P. process.

The reasons for these industries’ attractiveness for C.S.P. component manufacture is due to the low cost of labor and energy as well as their geographic proximity to Europe with delivery possible within 48 to 72 hours.

However, in order to live up to its potential, the C.S.P. industry in the region must be supported by national strategies in which industrial development and energy policy should be coordinated. These strategies involve clear targets for the market diffusion of C.S.P. as well as R&D efforts, strategy funds for industrial development in C.S.P. connected industries, and stronger regional integration of policies.

The study is also recommending the creation of a regional C.S.P. association to deal with issues such as C.S.P. market development, manufacturing options, and the latest technological advancements.

Steps should also be taken for education and training programs for the industrial workforce in relevant sectors. Universities should be encouraged to offer C.S.P. technology-based courses to ensure the next generations can meet the demands of the potential jobs created by the industry.

The background of the study is the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund which is currently supporting the development of solar thermal power plants in M.E.N.A. countries. An investment program is intended to help finance new power plants in the region and attract additional investment and develop a local C.S.P. industry.

 

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