Wärtsilä Hosted Boardroom: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition with Hybrid Power Systems - Wärtsilä's View

Wärtsilä Hosted Boardroom: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition with Hybrid Power Systems - Wärtsilä's View image
Intermittency has been voted as the primary challenge inhibiting the development of hybrid power projects in Africa. In this regard, however, it is also the reason why some countries need to explore a hybrid mix.
The link between intermittency and renewables hinges on the latter’s nature – magnitude and frequency can’t always be relied upon through a sole reliance on wind or solar, for example. However, the idea of an energy mix shouldn’t be alien. 

“Now that we are talking about renewables, we are forgetting that electricity was always a mix of energy. You couldn’t only use coal or nuclear… you needed gas, fuel, diesel. And now that we’re taking this concept to renewables, its intermittent, but there can be solutions in the future based around electricity always having needed a mix,” explained Abderrahim Jamrani, Engineering Director, MASEN.

His experience in Morocco brought to light the importance of not just integrating renewable sources, but technologies and processes in between that ensure the most efficient and effective generation, storage and distribution of resultant power.

This was corroborated by Tarik Sfendla, Market Development Manager, Wärtsilä Energy whose research into hybrid energy mixes in Senegal found that a well-designed hybrid power system optimises asset utilisation and reduces renewable energy source curtailment. 

Such a mix included flexible gas-based thermal generation, battery-based energy storage, power to gas solutions, and the renewables themselves. 

Sfendla concluded: “Africa has the potential to become one of the next winners of the energy transition, and hybrid power systems will pave the way to a 100% renewable energy future for the continent.”