Robust African Hydropower Development under Socio-Economic Uncertainties

Carlino, A. (2021). Robust African Hydropower Development under Socio-Economic Uncertainties. IIASA YSSP Report. Laxenburg, Austria: IIASA

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Population growth and improved energy access are worldwide triggering investments in power capacity expansion. Meanwhile, hydropower is experiencing a boom in many energy portfolios, especially in developing regions where most of the untapped hydropower potential lies. Strategic planning of hydropower development is crucial to reduce environmental and social impacts, and provide good performance in multiple sectors with competing objectives considering water, energy, economy and climate.
Nevertheless, due to the deep uncertainty involved in socio-economic projections, often overlooked in strategic dam planning, policy makers are required to take planning decisions with an unclear vision of the future. This is especially true for Africa, where projections for population and energy demand are highly uncertain, and where more than 300 new hydropower projects are under consideration, mostly in the least developed and most uncertain areas. The development of these power plants is contingent on meeting future energy demands and therefore strongly tied to the associated uncertainty. Here, we examine energy portfolios considering eachydropower project reported in the African Hydropower Atlas, using a continental power system model driven by uncertain final energy demands based on the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). We derive the most important hydropower plants under consideration and study how planning changes over the different future scenarios. We finally produce a two-stage plan which is adjusted as soon as
uncertainty is revealed: this ensures robustness in the short term while reducing its price in the long term.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA YSSP Report)
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2021 08:07
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2022 10:35

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