Solar Thermal Power Plants for the Power Systems in the MENA Region – Power Plant Analysis and Integration into the Power Markets as part of MENA CSP

Duration: 09/2016 - 06/2020
Contracting Authority/ Sponsors: World Bank, EY, Castalia, Fraunhofer ISI, ATA Renewables
Project Focus:
MENA CSP KIP - Power Plant
© Fraunhofer ISE
Noor CSP Power Plant in Ouarzazate.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are an excellent option for producing renewable energy with the use of thermal storage flexibly in countries with lots of solar radiation. In addition to photovoltaics and wind turbines, CSP can represent an important pillar. With this project, the Fraunhofer ISE supports an initiative put forth by the World Bank which aims at promoting knowledge and innovation for CSP in the MENA region.

The project intends to facilitate the construction of additional CSP plants in the region by creating a broader knowledge base and overcoming market entry barriers. The Fraunhofer ISE contributes its long-term experiences in CSP plants and add market and system analyses.


The researchers of the Fraunhofer ISE investigate the following aspects:

  1. Analysis of local conditions for CSP plants that includes an analysis of radiation conditions, power plant investments, plant operation as well as feasibility at different locations. Within this analysis, the Fraunhofer ISE contributes its extensive CSP modeling tool ColSimCSP for the purposes of power plant and operation analysis.
  2. Integration of CSP plants into the power systems: The integration into the energy markets is important for the analysis of the feasibility and economic efficiency of CSP plants. The application of the energy system model ENTIGRIS ( provides answers to questions, such as what role CSP plants will play in each power system, what operating strategies should look like, or which hubs are suitable for planning CSP plants.
  3. Analysis of CSP power plants for industrial processes and high temperature applications with specific aspects to technology, location, and demand.
  4. Knowledge creation and innovation of local stakeholders: The successful market integration of CSP includes a comprehensive examination of the technical and economic conditions for CSP power plants. Knowledge creation and own innovations as well as participation of local stakeholders is an important key for successful CSP projects and a successful system integration. In addition, the aim is for local industries and workers to benefit from the CSP expansion. Fraunhofer ISE investigates these factors and supports local stakeholders in their implementation.

In the project, Fraunhofer ISE has already analyzed solar thermal power plants and the associated power systems in Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon and Morocco in detailed analyses. The MENA CSP KIP program (Middle East and North Africa Concentrating Solar Power Knowledge and Innovation Program) was launched by the World Bank at the end of 2016 with the support of the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) and runs until the end of 2019.