INTEGRATION COSTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IN FUTURE ENERGY GENERATION SCENARIOS
Keywords:Renewable energy technologies, South Africa, Plexos
The objective of the paper is to understand the integration costs of renewable energy technologies (RETs) in future energy generation scenarios for South Africa. The study used PLEXOS1 to conduct a bottom-up hourly simulation, incorporating the high renewable energy scenarios of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for 2030, in which RET penetrations are projected to be below 20 per cent. After verification and validation of the model by PLEXOS subject matter experts, the final model was run with two cases: a base case, and a constraint case. The results for these two cases for the year 2030 exhibited system costs of R0.39/kWh and R0.48/kWh respectively. A secondary output was the levelised cost of energy values for a number of energy generation technologies. A sensitivity analysis subsequently revealed that the largest contributor to a change in system costs is the demand forecast, followed by an increase in renewable energy outputs. Finally, recommendations are made to improve future energy modelling research by addressing the key assumptions of this research inquiry.
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