To read this content please select one of the options below:

Rescuing the concept of solar electricity transfer from North Africa to Europe

Franz Trieb (Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment, DLR – Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, Stuttgart, Germany)
Juergen Kern (Department of Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment, DLR – Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, Stuttgart, Germany)
Natàlia Caldés (Department of Energy, Energy System Analysis Unit, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain)
Cristina de la Rua (Department of Energy, Energy System Analysis Unit, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain)
Dorian Frieden (Department of Resources, Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainability, Joanneum Research, Graz, Austria)
Andreas Tuerk (Department of Resources, Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainability, Joanneum Research, Graz, Austria)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 5 September 2016

527

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light to the concept of solar electricity transfer from North Africa to Europe in the frame of Article 9 of the European Renewable Energy Sources (EU-RES) Directive 28/2009/EC, to explain why efforts have not been successful up to now and to provide recommendations on how to proceed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have compared the “Supergrid” concept that was pursued by some institutions in the past years with the original “TRANS-CSP” concept developed by the German Aerospace Centre in 2006. From this analysis, the authors could identify not only major barriers but also possible ways towards successful implementation.

Findings

The authors found that in contrast to the Supergrid approach, the original concept of exporting dispatchable solar power from concentrating solar thermal power stations with thermal energy storage (CSP-TES) via point-to-point high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission directly to European centres of demand could be a resilient business case for Europe–North Africa cooperation, as it provides added value in both regions.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis has been made in the frame of the BETTER project commissioned by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness & Innovation in the frame of the program Intelligent Energy Europe.

Practical implications

One of the major implications found is that due to the time lost in the past years by following a distracted concept, the option of flexible solar power imports from North Africa to Europe is not any more feasible to become part of the 2020 supply scheme.

Social implications

To make them a viable option for post-2020 renewable energy systems for electricity development in Europe, a key recommendation of the project is to elaborate a detailed feasibility study about concrete CSP-HVDC links urgently.

Originality/value

The analysis presented here is the first to give concrete recommendations for the implementation of such infrastructure.

Keywords

Citation

Trieb, F., Kern, J., Caldés, N., de la Rua, C., Frieden, D. and Tuerk, A. (2016), "Rescuing the concept of solar electricity transfer from North Africa to Europe", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 448-473. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJESM-12-2014-0003

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles