CSP Manufactures Critical for Program Effectiveness in Middle East & North Africa

Dr. Hassan Younes, Minister for Electricity &  Energy and Jonathan Walters, Director for Regional Programs. Converting more solar energy into electricity is high on the global development agenda, amid the push to find clean domestic energy sources. The World Bank is working with several development partners to accelerate the expansion of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in the Middle East and North Africa to help countries meet their growing energy needs.

The success of this concentrated solar power venture revolves around the presence of local CSP manufacturers. Preliminary assessments of a study funded by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) show that the region could benefit from this industry if the region’s unique advantages were exploited and the market barriers overcome to create a sustained regional demand. The study assessed the potential of manufacturing CSP locally in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.


The study says, the potential for using CSP technology in the Middle East and North Africa is high and the cost of production is favorable to intending CSP manufacturers. It adds that the region is endowed with raw materials for CSP production and is close to other booming markets in Southern Europe. 


If international CSP manufacturers take advantage of the numerous benefits the region offers to invest in this sector, local manufacturing of CSP plants could reach nearly 60 percent as average value for all CSP projects, says the study. It says, the impact on the regions gross domestic product would be US$14.3 billion, while the impact on foreign trade would be US$3.3 billion leading to about 180,000 new jobs.


The workshop was convened to address challenges  facing CSP manufacturers and to encourage national and international CSP manufacturers to invest in the region. International experiences of CSP manufacturers were presented in addition to discussing opportunities and challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa Region in deploying concentrated solar power. The workshop was co-hosted by Egypt’s Renewable Energy Authority and the World Bank, in Cairo on September 30, 2010. The event attracted over 120 local and international manufacturers, government representatives and development partners.

The World Bank is working with the African Development Bank and other partners including European, Arab, Islamic, Japanese and other donors to accelerate CSP expansion in the region. “The Concentrated Solar Power program will enable the region to meet its rapidly growing power demand, reduce dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation, lower carbon footprint, foster economic development and promote job creation,” said Chandrasekar Govindarajalu a Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank.


A significant part of this initiative is financed under the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) Investment Plan. The plan aims to mobilize up to $5.6 billion (including $750 million from the CTF) public and private sector investments to help accelerate deployment of CSP projects in these five countries. In addition, projects and technical assistance activities are being designed in Kuwait, and West Bank and Gaza. The expansion of the CSP program in the region will help attract investment to the sector and will immensely reduce deployment costs due to economies of scale.


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