Benefits, Challenges, and Analytical Approaches to Scaling Up Renewables Through Regional Planning and Coordination of Power Systems in Africa
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Purpose of Review
In light of the urgent need and ambition of African communities to scale up the deployment of renewable energy, this article explores the benefits and challenges presented by regional coordination in Africa, and how recent planning studies are reflecting those aspects in their analysis of future power sector expansion on the continent.
Regional approaches to renewable deployment in Africa can reduce overall system costs and improve operation by expanding access to higher quality renewable resources, while unlocking a greater diversity of renewable options. Regional approaches can also provide greater flexibility and stability to national power systems, as well as complementarity that allows countries to scale up development of single sources while still reducing risks related to climate variability and future change.
Based on a long history of experience, the benefits of regional approaches to power sector development and operation are now well established. New methodologies using more granular geospatial and temporal data have emerged to make the analysis of these benefits more feasible and more detailed. Novel additions to planning studies are also presenting more nuanced insights into the implications that climate change, technological innovations, and socio-political influences could have on regional renewable energy deployment.
KeywordsAfrica Renewable energy Regional integration Power pools WAPP SAPP Planning Modelling Capacity expansion
Compliance With Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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