Concentrated solar power (CSP) has a large potential in South Africa but levelized cost of energy (LCOE) reduction is essential to improve technology competitiveness against currently cheaper renewable alternatives. A paradigm shift in EPC contracts is therefore vital to avoid standardized specifications in the selection of technology providers and to provide room for innovation ability.

In markets like South Africa, where 3,725MW were recently announced to be generated from renewable energy sources with 200 MW concentrated solar thermal targets, CSP kWh prices are still 2-3 times higher than the competing PV and wind technologies. CSP market players agree that LCOE reduction should be the single most important objective to foster technology competitiveness on a global scale. However, it is often the CSP market dynamics working against lowering LCOE in reality.

Developers of CSP plants aim to apply new technologies to gain competitive advantage in the market. But EPC companies usually do not own the technology, and sub-contractors are selected based on minimum technical specifications. Within this simplified three-player model the EPC has very little incentive to select advanced technologies and to optimize the lifetime plant revenue accordingly as the project budget has been agreed on in an earlier project phase - usually 2-4 years before the actual purchasing would take place.

"Innovation ability in EPC contracts is vital to select key technologies that provide added value to the overall plant performance. In other renewable industries, like the wind industry, competitiveness is determined by the fact that key technologies are held by the EPC. This makes a huge difference as the EPC works directly with the suppliers to lower LCOE by optimizing performance and lowering cost - and competing on the LCOE towards the Independent Power Producers" - said Svante Bundgaard, CEO of Aalborg CSP.

Added value in steam generators - up to 10% LCOE reduction

The Aalborg CSP steam generator technology is developed based on traditional boiler principles.The SGS3 system provides the CSP plant with key operational benefits while designed to carry high bankability potential. The state-of-the-art boiler technology eliminates leakages and thereby reduces downtime throughout the lifetime of the system, which is backed by a 5 years non-leakage guarantee. By reducing downtime - productivity, electricity earning and the general payback time of the power plant is greatly improved. The SGS3 line is further optimized to guarantee a high gradient of up to 9°C/min, allowing a rapid ramp-up every morning and after transient clouds. This can ensure more than 30 minutes extra operation on a normal 9 hour day, thereby increasing energy production by 5% and increasing daily revenue accordingly. These two main design elements togetherreduce LCOE of CSP Plants by at least 5%, but in some cases up to 10%.

Svante Bundgaard, CEO of Aalborg CSP joins CSP Today South Africa 2014

Svante Bundgaard, CEO of Aalborg CSP will attend the "CSP Today South Africa 2014" event on the 8-9th of April. Before entering the solar industry, Svante gained extensive knowledge on programmes that lower LCOE for Wind energy, as the Head of Engineering and VP for Projects and Business Development at Siemens Wind Power. All visitors are welcome to stop by booth no. 12 to meet with senior representatives of Aalborg CSP.

Press contact:

Jelica Matoricz
Phone: +45 88 16 88 47

About Aalborg CSP

Aalborg CSP A/S is a world leader in concentrated solar power (CSP) boiler systems and technologies.

Our globally recognised solutions are based on 25 years of experience with traditional steam boilers uniquely adapted to the CSP industry. We design and deliver steam generation systems, molten salt and steam tower receivers, and integrated CSP energy systems that combine heat and electricity production as well as water desalination. Aalborg CSP has more than 330MWe installed equipment in commercial operation worldwide.

Our engineering design is centred on a value-adding concept to perform beyond expectations. The Aalborg CSP solutions aim to provide high bankability potential as a benefit of excellent and reliable performance. Our world-class project management expertise ensures delivery reliable on quality, budget and deadline commitments.

Headquartered in Aalborg (Denmark) and with sales & service offices in Spain, US, Kenya, Uganda and Indonesia, Aalborg CSP has realised cost effective thermal energy solutions to a variety of industries worldwide.

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