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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The analysis presented here is the first to give concrete recommendations for the implementation of such infrastructure.
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
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited