World Bank Holds CSP Roundtable

A World Bank-initiated sustainable energy workshop has heard concentrated solar power (CSP) technology would greatly increase energy security and provide clean renewable electricity to developing nations, but strong policy frameworks must be established to ensure big solar projects are funded.
Over two days in Marrakesh, stakeholders and policymakers from Morocco, Egypt, South Africa and India, along with officials from European donor agencies, met for the Strengthening the Solar Energy Option and Utility-Scale Solar Power Development & Management meeting. 
It was co-organised by Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) and the World Bank and forms part of its Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative, which aims to, among other things, double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. 
The workshop was designed to help countries plan for and overcome challenges in making CSP viable through shared knowledge. Although all nations involved in the talks are rich in solar resources, with tracts of desert land ripe for CSP development, regulatory obstacles still remain in attracting big solar projects. 
Participants agreed that some regulatory requirements such as local content rules for solar developers could serve to push solar prices up and that a balanced approach to domestic manufacturing was needed.
Countries also had different approaches to the roll-out of grid-scale solar. The Moroccan energy security plan involves CSP farms eventually distributing energy across borders into Europe, a plan requiring long term policy support. 
India, however, desires vast amounts of CSP power to meet huge population demand and has used the first stage of its National Solar Mission to establish measures enhancing the integration of photovoltaic solar power into the national grid. 
“Concentrated solar technology is suitable to address our energy security and climate change challenges,” said Mustapha Bakkoury, CEO of MASEN. “However, CSP needs support to become competitive until the development of large scale CSP projects in an innovative and effective operational mode can provide the necessary economies of scale to bring cost down.”