Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy will save West African countries hundreds of millions of dollars by the end of decade, says Wärtsilä
- Jun 10, 2023 2:17 am GMT
A strategy shift in favour of renewables will bring significant economic advantages as power systems are expanded.
Speaking last week at theWest Africa Energy Transition Forumin Dakarin the presence of key energy decision-makers, experts from
Using state-of-the-art power system modelling techniques,
"We held this forum to address pressing questions facing energy authorities in
The study reveals that the scenario featuring a greater deployment of renewable energy in the power system will, by far, be the most affordable and sustainable option. Paired with energy storage and flexible engine power plants to maintain a constant and stable power supply, a larger share of renewable energy will reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and generate total system savings of
" Our study shows very clearly thatmaximising low-cost renewable energy is in
"Price alone is converting the world to renewable energy", continued Joonatan Huhdanmäki, Market Development Manager at
Understanding the balancing needs of high renewable power grids
Balancing power refers to the ability of a power system to maintain a stable and reliable supply of electricity, by matching the electricity demand with the available generation capacity in real-time.
Because renewable energy is intermittent, extra balancing capacity is needed to provide enough flexibility to the power system and ensure grid stability. "The equation for grid stability is rather simple to understand. Every megawatt of intermittent renewable capacity that is installed must be matched with corresponding levels of flexibility in the form of energy storage and balancing power plants, so that we can always match electricity supply and demand.", explained
To balance the grid, operators will use two complementary technologies: Flexible engine power plants, which can be quickly ramped up or down to respond to changes in electricity supply, will be used whenever renewable capacity is insufficient to meet demand. Energy storage systems, on the other hand, will store the excess electricity when renewable generation exceeds demand. Both will work together to keep the grid safe and stable.
The path to carbon-free power systems in
The path to decarbonisation of the energy system is rather similar everywhere in the world. The first step is to add the right mix of renewables, balancing power plants, and storage capacity, while phasing out inflexible power plants. The second step is to convert the flexible engine power plants running on natural gas to run on sustainable fuels, at which stage the power system will no longer need fossil fuels at all.
"Decarbonisation is totally feasible with the current technologies we have, and contrary to popular belief, it's not going to cost more: it's going to cost less.", concluded
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