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Middle East and North Africa Concentrating Solar Power Knowledge and Innovation Program

Status: Active
  • Countries Targeted

    Targeted countries include those eligible for CTF financing: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and West Bank and Gaza. Other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are welcome to participate in knowledge exchange activities (webinars, events, conferences, etc.)


    Lead organization

    World Bank Group
    Climate Investment Funds



    The Program is intended to support environmentally sustainable economic and social development by helping to help accelerate investments in concentrating solar power (CSP) in the MENA region. This three-year Program is designed to address knowledge and awareness gaps, to link proposed projects with sources of finance and technical advice, and to promote innovation to enable CSP investments in MENA to move forward faster, and in more countries.


    In December 2009, the Trust Fund Committee of the Clean Technology Fund (part of Climate Investment Funds) endorsed a US$750 million investment plan (IP) to support the development of 1GW of CSP generation capacity and associated transmission infrastructure in five MENA countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. The implementation of the original plan has been delayed in some countries. While Morocco has made significant progress some countries are somewhat behind their original implementation schedule.


    One of the main reasons for implementation delays in some countries is the high CSP investment costs, making CSP adoption challenging on a cost-effectiveness basis. Though CSP investment costs are expected to decline with technology learning and increased deployment, today’s CSP investment and levelized costs for electricity generation remain high. The high investment cost leads to high incremental costs—the difference between the cost of the CSP plant and the cost of the next best alternative project-hindering the large-scale development of CSP.


    Despite its higher initial costs, CSP development carries benefits. The characteristics of the CSP technology are such that it will soon be able to deliver kWh that are not only carbon free but also reliable and secure. CSP can store heat, which is much cheaper than storing electricity, providing dispatchable energy and other power system services more competitively than other variable renewable energy sources. That would have major implications for the choice of power generation technology and the management of power systems in countries with good solar resources.


    To unlock this potential a number of initiatives under this Program have focused on accelerating the deployment of CSP in MENA. The underlying principle is that — as we have seen with PV and wind power in recent years — the more megawatts of CSP there are installed in the world, the cheaper each megawatt will become. Economies of scale will emerge in CSP equipment manufacturing, and of course knowledge and experience will grow with each new project.


    Proram Objectives

    Promote the deployment of concentrating solar technologies by focusing on high-value impacts on the region’s economies, seeking to expand the market, improving the policy framework, supporting the creation of ecosystems that will attract investors in related services and equipment, and strengthening capacities in participating countries.


    EXPECTED Outcomes



    Increased capacity of local industries and service providers to produce higher quality CSP components or provide improved services

    Innovative approaches/applied solutions created with potential operational impact

    Scale up to the operational level

    Deepened knowledge of key country agencies

    Policy/strategy informed

    Linking knowledge with operations

    Informed policies and/or concentrated solar technology deployment program design

    Convene and leverage multilevel regional dialogue (network and consensus improved)

    Informed policies and/or concentrated solar technology deployment program design

    Knowledge deepened and mainstreamed

    Client capacity increased




    Contact Person