On a global scale, the majority of functioning Concentrated Solar Plants (CSP) are based on parabolic trough technology, although the share of tower plants is increasing, year on year (the latter was 30% of CSP capacity commissioned in 2018).
In contrast to most other forms of renewable energy, CSP technology has the potential for including energy storage. This overcomes the problem of intermittent production and offers increased flexibility for the electricity grid, thus permitting a higher share of power generation for renewable energy.
In 2018, a study on CSP focussed on an analysis of the prospective role of CSP in Tunisia's electricity mix. The study also considered the economic and financial criteria for the development of the CSP Akarit project.
The results of this research showed that the optimum for CSP installed capacity in Tunisia by 2035 would be between 450 MW and 900 MW and that the first such plant could go into service in 2025.
For the Akarit project, the study concluded that its optimal technical configuration would consist of a parabolic trough CSP plant, with a power capacity of 100 MW and storage capacity of 5 hours. For a plant of this configuration, the study confirmed the project’s economic viability and concluded that its financial viability would depend solely on the cost of finance.