Kuwait increases renewable energy target, eyes up to 400MW of CSP

Kuwait increases renewable energy target, eyes up to 400MW of CSP
Published: 7 July 2019 - 9:46 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Kuwait has expanded its 2030 renewables target at the Shagaya renewable energy complex to 4 GW but CSP developers will have to wait until a third phase of development, due online in 2025-26, to secure projects, Osamah Alsayegh, Executive Director of Energy & Building Research Center at KISR, told New Energy Update.

In February, Kuwait started commercial operations at its 50 MW Shagaya CSP plant, marking the completion of phase 1 of the Shagaya renewable energy park.

Developed by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), the Shagaya park was launched in 2012 and was originally expected to host 2 GW of capacity by 2030, across three phases. KISR initially recommended a generation mix at the park of 56% CSP capacity-- equivalent to 1.15 GW-- alongside 35% PV and 7.5% wind, reported New Energy Update.

Kuwait's electricity demand is expected to triple by 2030 and the Shagaya complex forms part of Kuwait's target to generate 15% of its electricity from renewable sources.

KISR has now decided to add a fourth phase to the park and raise its 2030 target at the site to 4 GW, but CSP developers will miss out on much of this expansion, Alsayegh told New Energy Update.

In phase 2, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) will develop 1.5 GW of capacity and has decided to install 100% PV technology, despite KISR recommending 20 to 30% CSP capacity to improve dispatchability.

As a result, CSP capacity at Shagaya will be far below KISR’s initial recommendations and developers will have to wait until phase 3 to bid for projects, Alsayegh said.

Kuwait plans to implement a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to attract private sector investment for phases 3 and 4.

For phase 3, KISR has recommended an "optimum configuration" of 1,200 MW PV, 200 MW CSP and 100MW wind, based on preliminary studies of market requirements, Alsayegh said.

Kuwait authorities are now preparing tender papers for phase 3 and the capacity is expected to come online by 2025-26, he said.

KISR's latest analysis shows that Kuwait CSP capacity will not exceed 400 MW by 2030, Alsayegh noted.

"And that is an optimistic projection,” he said.

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