Authors: Ashish Gulagi , Piyush Choudhary, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Christian Breyer
Journal: Plos ONE 
Publisher: PLOS 
The developing region of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) is home to a large number of people living below the poverty line. In future, providing affordable, universally accessible, reliable, low to zero carbon electricity in this region will be the main aim. A cost optimal 100% renewable energy system is simulated for SAARC for the year 2030 on an hourly resolved basis.
The region was divided into 16 sub-regions and three different scenarios were set up based on the level of high voltage direct current (HVDC) grid connections. The results obtained for a total system levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) showed a decrease from 71.6 €/MWh in a decentralized to 67.2 €/MWh for a centralized grid connected scenario. An additional scenario was simulated to show the benefits of integrating industrial gas production and seawater reverse osmosis desalination demand, and showed the system cost decreased by 5% and total electricity generation decreased by 1%.
The results show that a 100% renewable energy system could be a reality in the SAARC region with the cost assumptions used in this research and it may be more cost competitive than nuclear and fossil carbon capture and storage (CCS) alternatives. One of the limitations of this study is the cost of land for installation of renewables which is not included in the LCOE calculations, but regarded as a minor contribution.

Picture: Block diagram of the all the energy technologies applied in the model for the SAARC region (credits: Ashish Gulagi , Piyush Choudhary, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Christian Breyer)

Copyright: © 2017 Gulagi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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