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Fruitful symbiosis: Why an export bundled with wind energy is the most feasible option for North African concentrated solar power

: Kost, Christoph; Pfluger, Benjamin; Eichhammer, Wolfgang; Ragwitz, Mario


Energy policy 39 (2011), No.11, pp.7136-7145
ISSN: 0301-4215
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Kaufmännische und technische Dienste; III-V und Konzentrator-Photovoltaik; Energiesystemanalyse; Alternative Photovoltaik-Technologien; Techno-ökonomische Bewertung von Energietechnologien; Nationale und regionale Energieversorgungskonzepte; Konzentratorsysteme; portfolio of renewable energy; support mechanism; electricity export

The idea of generating electricity in North Africa using concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) has been around for some time now but has recently gained momentum through the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) and the formation of the Desertec Industrial Initiative. This paper argues that while the large-scale deployment of CSP in North Africa does not seem economically attractive for either European or African institutions or countries on their own at present, combining domestic use and electricity exports could be profitable for both parties. A detailed economic portfolio covering both solar and wind power plants can achieve competitive price levels, which would accelerate the diffusion of solar technology in North Africa. This portfolio could be financed partially by exporting electricity from solar thermal plants in North Africa via HVDC interconnections to European consumers. Sharing the costs in this way makes it possible to generate solar electricity for the domesti c market at a reasonable cost. Some of the electricity produced from the solar power plants and wind parks in North Africa is sold on European energy markets in the form of a long-term contracted solar-wind portfolio, which would qualify for support from the financial incentive schemes of the European Member States (e.g. feed-in tariffs). This transfer of green electricity could help to meet the targets for energy from renewable energy sources (RES) in the EU Member States as the new EU Directive of 2009 opened the European electricity market to imports from third states.