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New research on grid integration of renewables starting in Zambia


Lusaka, February 14th 2019

Renewable energies are getting more and more competitive than traditional generation all over the world and Africa has the potential to benefit from its immense renewable resources endowment to accelerate electricity access and decarbonization of the power sector.

Enel Foundation alongside RES4Africa, and with the technical expertise of leading energy research firm CESI, have just started an ambitious research project to define the optimal penetration of variable renewable energy sources in Zambia. In particular, the focus of the research will be grid integration aiming to assess the optimal technical-economic amount of variable renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, that can be integrated into the National Electric Network of Zambia ensuring system stability.

The research project, presented in a Kick off meeting in Lusaka on February 14th, will involve close collaboration with Zambian stakeholders including the Ministry of Energy, ZESCO, the Energy Regulation Board or the Southern African Power Pool.

The Minister of Energy Hon. Matthew Nkhuwa addressed the 40 participants to the meeting encouraging the working group to be part of a quick transition and highlighting the importance of renewables in mitigating climate change.

Mr. Webster Musonda, acting CEO of ZESCO, the public integrated electricity utility that generates, transmits, distributes and supplies electricity in Zambia, welcomed the initiation of this study as well as the approach in which it will be carried out.

Luca Marena, from RES4Africa, and Mirko Armiento, Senior Researcher from Enel Foundation, both presented to the audience their respective organisations, the aim of the study, methodology and expected outcomes.

Additional research on grid integration of renewable energy sources

In addition to the Zambian study, Enel Foundation is currently developing an articulate research series to define the optimal penetration of variable renewable energy sources aiming to increase the efficiency of the electrical systems from a technical and economic point of view within a specific set of countries across South America.

The series will provide concrete evidence about the benefits of exploiting existing interregional or cross-border interconnections, reinforcing them and building new cross-border corridors. As transmission grid interconnection with neighboring countries is increasingly seen as an effective way to mitigate technical constraints in system operation and minimize the production cost, the research series by Enel Foundation will contribute to the debate identifying different scenarios for the development of Variable Renewable Energy Sources (VRES) in LATAM region by 2030.