WWF-SA recently published a technical report exploring the barriers and potential for the uptake of solar thermal energy in South Africa in the agri-processing and textile industries. Staff at the Centre for Renewable And Sustainainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University, one of the South African SOLTRAIN partners, co-authored the report.
Although the use of solar thermal technology in industry is highly applicable to low temperature requirements, the key reason why it has not received the level of attention of PV is due to the high cost of both the installation of the plant and the storage of heated water.
South Africa has some of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the world, and while both domestic and industrial use of PV to generate electricity has gained traction, the use of solar thermal for industrial process heat has not attracted much attention. The agri-processing and textile industries offer key market opportunities due to their need for low temperature heat (below 160 ⁰C).
Download the report at this link.