SUMMARY: This case study examines the 100 MW Eskom (CSP) power tower plant in Upington being developed by Eskom. The report analyses in detail what worked and what did not in the project’s financial, political and technological risk management and aims to inform the efforts of public entities such as national governments and Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) to design national and international public finance programs to deploy CSP and other emerging technologies
KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: The report notes , among other findings, that the Eskom CSP project in South Africa is one of the most ambitious and technically challenging CSP projects in development outside the US both in its proposed technology choice (power tower), generating capacity (100 MW), and the 9-12 hours of storage. Eskom relied on political support and concessional lending from international financial institutions to develop the CSP. However, foreign debt implied additional risks for the utility. Public sources of finance are essential to bridge the viability gap between CSP power towers and cheaper alternatives.