Hydro, Wind and Solar power as a base for a 100% Renewable Energy supply for South and Central America

RE is not only able to cover 1813 TWh of estimated electricity demand of the area in 2030 but also able to generate the electricity needed to fulfil 3.9 billion m3 of water desalination and 640 TWhLHV of synthetic natural gas demand. Existing hydro dams can be used as virtual batteries for solar and wind electricity storage, diminishing the role of storage technologies.
2 years ago

Authors: Larissa de Souza Noel Simas Barbosa, Dmitrii Bogdanov, Pasi Vainikka, Christian Breyer

 
Jounal: PLOS One
 
Abstract
 
Power systems for South and Central America based on 100% renewable energy (RE) in the year 2030 were calculated for the first time using an hourly resolved energy model. The region was subdivided into 15 sub-regions. Four different scenarios were considered: three according to different high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission grid development levels (region, country, area-wide) and one integrated scenario that considers water desalination and industrial gas demand supplied by synthetic natural gas via power-to-gas (PtG). RE is not only able to cover 1813 TWh of estimated electricity demand of the area in 2030 but also able to generate the electricity needed to fulfil 3.9 billion m3 of water desalination and 640 TWhLHV of synthetic natural gas demand. Existing hydro dams can be used as virtual batteries for solar and wind electricity storage, diminishing the role of storage technologies.
 
The results for total levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) are decreased from 62 €/MWh for a highly decentralized to 56 €/MWh for a highly centralized grid scenario (currency value of the year 2015). For the integrated scenario, the levelized cost of gas (LCOG) and the levelized cost of water (LCOW) are 95 €/MWhLHV and 0.91 €/m3, respectively. A reduction of 8% in total cost and 5% in electricity generation was achieved when integrating desalination and power-to-gas into the system.
 
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.

Illustration Photo: Wind farm in Rio do Fogo, Brazil (Credits: The Danish Wind Industry Association / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0)

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