Title: Analysis of the water-power nexus in the North, Eastern and Central African Power Pools
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC121098
ISBN: 978-92-76-20874-7 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 30310 EN
OP KJ-NA-30310-EN-N (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC121098
DOI: 10.2760/12651
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: This report describes the results of applying an open-source modelling framework to three African power pools : the Central African Power Pool, the Eastern Africa Power Pool and the North African Power Pool. The modelling framework is used to analyse results at country level - where insights regarding the power generation, system adequacy, total operational costs, freshwater consumption and withdrawals, water values (hydro storage shadow price), and CO2 emissions linked to the power sector are assessed. The model source code and the input data are provided together with the report for transparency purposes to facilitate further exploitation and analysis of the results. Water-energy nexus indicators such as the water exploitation index, or water withdrawal and consumption related to power generation, are computed for the three power pools and for major individual power plants. The indicators show that these three African Power Pools are strongly dependent on the availability of freshwater resources. The variation between wet and dry years significantly impacts the final energy mix, the total operational costs, the total carbon emissions and the water stress index of the system. The relative impact of water consumption over water withdrawals is low because of the predominance of once-through cooling systems in the most vulnerable countries. Furthermore, several isolated countries within each power pool exhibit a power system which is not adequate, leading to significant amounts of load not served. The importance of increasing the reliability as well as the capacity of interconnection lines is thereby highlighted. A well interconnected grid reduces the need for variable renewable energy (VRES) curtailment and water spillage in hydropower units, allows higher integration of renewable sources, and reduces the need for load shedding , especially in extremely dry years. A higher degree of interconnection also has a positive impact on water stress indicators since water consumption and water withdrawal can be significantly reduced. Africa presents an important potential of variable renewable energy sources (mainly wind and solar) which is still largely untapped. The addition of new VRES capacity can reduce the potential carbon emissions by more than 32% by 2045 compared to a business-as-usual scenario. However, this is only possible by reducing the congestion when energy flows from southern countries (hydro-rich), and energy flows from the northern countries (VRES-abundant) are enabled. This is particularly the case in future low carbon scenarios, in which power generation from thermal units is lower, resulting in a lack of flexibility and therefore in higher curtailment and load shedding.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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