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Title: Strategic siting and regional grid interconnections key to low-carbon futures in African countries

Abstract

Recent forecasts suggest that African countries must triple their current electricity generation by 2030. Our multicriteria assessment of wind and solar potential for large regions of Africa shows how economically competitive and low-environmental– impact renewable resources can significantly contribute to meeting this demand. We created the Multicriteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) framework to map and characterize solar and wind energy zones in 21 countries in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and find that potential is several times greater than demand in many countries. Significant fractions of demand can be quickly served with “no-regrets” options—or zones that are low-cost, low-environmental impact, and highly accessible. Because no-regrets options are spatially heterogeneous, international interconnections are necessary to help achieve low-carbon development for the region as a whole, and interconnections that support the best renewable options may differ from those planned for hydropower expansion. Additionally, interconnections and selecting wind sites to match demand reduce the need for SAPP-wide conventional generation capacity by 9.5% in a high-wind scenario, resulting in a 6–20% cost savings, depending on the avoided conventional technology. Strategic selection of low-impact and accessible zones is more cost effective with interconnections compared withmore » solutions without interconnections. In conclusion, the overall results are robust to multiple load growth scenarios. Together, results show that multicriteria site selection and deliberate planning of interconnections may significantly increase the economic and environmental competitiveness of renewable alternatives relative to conventional generation.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [5];  [5]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy and Resources Group; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). International Energy Studies Group
  2. Namibia Univ. of Science and Technology, Windhoek, (Namibia). Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
  3. International Renewable Energy Agency, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). International Energy Studies Group
  5. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Energy and Resources Group
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1398996
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; 1539585
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; Africa; energy policy; interconnections; renewable energy; siting

Citation Formats

Wu, Grace C., Deshmukh, Ranjit, Ndhlukula, Kudakwashe, Radojicic, Tijana, Reilly-Moman, Jessica, Phadke, Amol, Kammen, Daniel M., and Callaway, Duncan S. Strategic siting and regional grid interconnections key to low-carbon futures in African countries. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611845114.
Wu, Grace C., Deshmukh, Ranjit, Ndhlukula, Kudakwashe, Radojicic, Tijana, Reilly-Moman, Jessica, Phadke, Amol, Kammen, Daniel M., & Callaway, Duncan S. Strategic siting and regional grid interconnections key to low-carbon futures in African countries. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611845114.
Wu, Grace C., Deshmukh, Ranjit, Ndhlukula, Kudakwashe, Radojicic, Tijana, Reilly-Moman, Jessica, Phadke, Amol, Kammen, Daniel M., and Callaway, Duncan S. Mon . "Strategic siting and regional grid interconnections key to low-carbon futures in African countries". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611845114. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1398996.
@article{osti_1398996,
title = {Strategic siting and regional grid interconnections key to low-carbon futures in African countries},
author = {Wu, Grace C. and Deshmukh, Ranjit and Ndhlukula, Kudakwashe and Radojicic, Tijana and Reilly-Moman, Jessica and Phadke, Amol and Kammen, Daniel M. and Callaway, Duncan S.},
abstractNote = {Recent forecasts suggest that African countries must triple their current electricity generation by 2030. Our multicriteria assessment of wind and solar potential for large regions of Africa shows how economically competitive and low-environmental– impact renewable resources can significantly contribute to meeting this demand. We created the Multicriteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE) framework to map and characterize solar and wind energy zones in 21 countries in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and find that potential is several times greater than demand in many countries. Significant fractions of demand can be quickly served with “no-regrets” options—or zones that are low-cost, low-environmental impact, and highly accessible. Because no-regrets options are spatially heterogeneous, international interconnections are necessary to help achieve low-carbon development for the region as a whole, and interconnections that support the best renewable options may differ from those planned for hydropower expansion. Additionally, interconnections and selecting wind sites to match demand reduce the need for SAPP-wide conventional generation capacity by 9.5% in a high-wind scenario, resulting in a 6–20% cost savings, depending on the avoided conventional technology. Strategic selection of low-impact and accessible zones is more cost effective with interconnections compared with solutions without interconnections. In conclusion, the overall results are robust to multiple load growth scenarios. Together, results show that multicriteria site selection and deliberate planning of interconnections may significantly increase the economic and environmental competitiveness of renewable alternatives relative to conventional generation.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1611845114},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
issn = {0027-8424},
number = 15,
volume = 114,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {3}
}

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