Imperial College of London and DNV Kema study finds that TuNur's CSP plant bring benefits to the European Grid
The “EU Grid Integration of Tunisia-Based Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plant” study, conducted by TuNur with Imperial College of London and DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability investigates the impacts of integrating 2GW of electricity generating capacity from TuNur’s CSP power plant in Tunisia into the European electricity system via an HVDC link from Tunisia to Central Italy. The study shows that solar imports from North Africa technically feasible and brings several grid integration benefits to the European electricity system.
According to the study, these benefits “include less requirements for back-up generating capacity, less operating reserves because of less intermittency, and potential reduction of demand for transmission reinforcement”. Therefore, the grid integration benefits of the CSP plants are higher than the potential system costs which will allow for meeting EU renewable targets at overall lower costs.
The second key message is: While this analysis demonstrates that the technical integration of solar energy imports from North Africa, and their associated benefits, are substantial, the regulatory framework for solar imports to Europe still needs improvement in order to fully access these benefits. This is especially evident in the fields of long-term contracts for cross-border transmission and the provision of cross-border ancillary services to the network.
Dr. Till Stenzel, CEO of TuNur says that “the study demonstrates that there are no technical bottlenecks to deliver the benefits of TuNur CSP plant to the European electricity market, including Northern European countries like the UK or Germany. Moreover, TuNur’s injection of power at a strong node in the Central Italian electricity system, as well as the focus on CSP technology with storage, means that Europe can have the same security of supply and lower grid costs when accessing solar imports. This provides an important alternative to lengthy and costly new transmission projects planned across Europe.”
Professor Strbac of Imperial College stated: “While this analysis demonstrates that integration of TuNur CSP plant will bring grid integration benefits, the present EU electricity market arrangements are a barrier for the uptake of cross-border exchange of all forms of electricity, including renewable energy. They favour member-state centric rather then European-wide approaches to grid integration costs and benefits, and electricity market balancing. This may prevent investment in renewable generation at the most resourceful locations with high renewable generation potential, and given the relatively high cost associated with renewable technologies, lead to very costly deployment of and integration of renewable energy across Europe.”
You can also request the full version of the study and contact us.