“This workshop is an opportunity to discuss in a practical way how to unlock the vast potential of non-dispatchable energy sources in the country. The strengthening of technical capabilities has been identified as the catalyst for the development of the energy sector and the partnership of RES4Africa with the various government agencies could not take place at a better time.”
The experience of Enel Green Power in renewable energy
Present in more than 30 countries worldwide, in Africa EGP is the first private operator in the field of renewables in terms of installed capacity.
An experience and know-how that the company places at the service of its customers, whether they are faced with a technological problem or be it a regulatory limit.
“While it is true that the Grid Code requirements for Renewable Power Plants(RPP) for most African countries are similar and common throughout, one has to always bear in mind that the networks are not entirely the same and have different limitations and levels of strength and reliability. Thus we have to evaluate the integration of Renewable Power Plants in the various countries case by case, to ensure that the integrated Renewable Power Plants are and remain compliant to that particular country’s code.”
Fidelis Mubiana - Acting Managing Director, ZESCO also reiterated "the need to strengthen and optimize operational practice and regulatory framework, particularly the operation of the Dispatch Centre, remains key for the smooth integration of non-dispatchable renewable energy. All these steps need to be augmented by learning real life lessons and experiences from those who have successfully implemented similar programs in other parts of the world”.
In addition to technological innovation, the introduction of renewable energy also poses new challenges from the point of view of the policies governing energy dispatching, tariffs or incentives. This is a very complex picture, in which the experience acquired in other scenarios is crucial to proposing the most suitable solutions.
“The importance of country-specific analyses is fundamental to evaluate the choice of incentives for the development of renewables, obviously also taking the different imperatives of national policies into account. As shown by the choices made by countries like Zambia and South Africa, there is no one-size-that is valid for everyone.”
Manage and store: the future of renewables energy
The increasing use of renewable sources is rapidly changing the energy scenario around the world.
On the one hand, the use of non-dispatchable energies has opened new avenues in the field of network management; on the other hand, storage technologies have taken enormous steps forward, opening up possibilities unthinkable up to just a few years ago.
“The negotiation phase and the price are important features but they are not the only levers to reaching an agreement. One should also consider introducing flexibility clauses and production forecasting systems for all operators, also in PPAs, in order to reduce the risk for both parties. This is particularly relevant for countries like Zambia where the level of penetration of renewables is growing while the energy mix is still not yet flexible.”
Energy storage, the ability to store energy and make it available when needed, is also demonstrating itself as a fundamental technology, capable of facilitating the global energy transition.
“The downward trend in the costs of storage technologies will start a virtuous circle of diffusion of current storage systems, and the implementation of new technologies, which are currently being tested. An Energy Storage system does a very simple thing: it loads energy in one moment in time and makes it available at another moment. Yet, this simple activity enables many of the challenges that the power sector is facing in various countries of the world to be overcome in time, in order to accelerate the transition to a 100% green reality.”
Thanks to renewables, Zambia is determined to diversify its energy supply sources: a choice shared by EGP, which is at its side on the road to sustainable development.