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Opportunities and challenges of high renewable energy deployment and electricity exchange for North Africa and Europe - scenarios for power sector and transmission infrastructure in 2030 and 2050

: Boie, Inga; Kost, Christoph; Bohn, Sven; Agsten, Michael; Bretschneider, Peter; Snigovyi, Oleksandr; Pudlik, Martin; Ragwitz, Mario; Schlegl, Thomas; Westermann, Dirk


Renewable energy 87 (2016), Pt.1, S.130-144
ISSN: 0960-1481
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Fraunhofer IOSB ()
electricity system modelling; electricity transmission infrastructure; meshed HVDC grid; North Africa; renewable energy; scenario analysis; Kaufmännische und technische Dienste; Energiesystemanalyse; Nationale und regionale Energieversorgungskonzepte; system modeling; transmission infrastructure; HVDC grid; Africa

Climate change and limited availability of fossil fuel reserves stress both the importance of deploying renewable energy sources (RES) for electricity generation and the need for a stronger integration of regional electricity markets. This analysis focuses on North African (NA) countries, which possess vast resources of renewable energy but whose electricity supply is still largely dependent on fossil fuels. An analysis of cost-optimized deployment scenarios for RES is conducted in five NA countries in 2030 and 2050. Three electricity models are combined to derive results covering trans-regional to sub-national level, including a detailed analysis of grid capacities and future transmission challenges. Further, opportunities for integration of European and NA electricity markets are evaluated. Results confirm that, by 2050, high RES shares – close to 100% – are possible in NA. Wind energy is the dominant technology. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants also play an important role with rising RES shares due to the possibility to store thermal energy. Electricity exports to Europe gain particular importance in the period after 2030. Substantial transmission grid reinforcements on AC-level and the construction of a high voltage DC overlay grid are prerequisites for the forecasted scenarios.