Renewable Energy Zones for the Africa Clean Energy Corridor: Multi-criteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy

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Source:
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Authors:
Grace C. Wu
Ranjit Deshmukh
Kudakwashe Ndhlukula
Tijana Radojicic
Jessica Reilly
Date:
1 December 2015

This report identifies zones for cost-effective, equitable and environmentally sustainable energy development with wind, solar photovoltaic, and concentrating solar power in the countries of the Eastern and Southern African power pools. The approach employed for the study combines geospatial, statistical, energy engineering, and economic methods to comprehensively identify and value high-quality renewable resources for grid integration based on techno-economic criteria, generation profiles (for wind) and socio-environmental impacts. The report outlines the methodology, assumptions and key results of the study: (1) countries in the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP) and Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) possess a wealth of wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) resources, (2) grid interconnections, combined with regional collaboration, can extend low-cost, clean wind and solar energy to all countries, (3) regional interconnection will also enable cross-border access to hydropower and geothermal potential, (4) zones for cost-effective renewable energy development with low environmental impact are frequently close to existing transmission infrastructure, (5) many wind zones are also suitable for solar PV development, (6) multi-criteria planning helps to develop socially and environmentally equitable, cost-effective, reliable power-generation capacity and (7) Government agencies need to maintain and share data for accurate, timely modelling and analysis.