How prominent Alternate Energy Technologies can help developing countries

The World Bank has a new program to fund advanced battery storage systems necessary for wind and solar power. The global energy transition is underway. Developing economies will most feel its potential to redesign the landscape. These economies will become major sites for growth and investment. Developing countries have become the absolute largest source of energy demand and far exceed OECD countries in terms of growth.

Similarly, investment in renewable energy is now led by developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to most of the world’s population living on limited, low-quality, or no electricity, and it is likely to witness some of the most significant changes.

The important role of batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. How the government responds is critical, and the World Bank is helping with a unique and focused plan.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that by 2040, the scale of public utilities and the “behind the instrument” market (corporate, industrial facility, and homesite) will grow exponentially, reaching about 7% of the total installed capacity.

This revolution in battery power is happening on a global scale, and its rapid growth is because of falling prices and the many benefits of the power system, from helping shift demand to achieving solar integration and improving reliability.

The solar revolution around the world has already brought in a noticeable impact. Many African countries are rapidly implementing utility-scale centralized systems, as well as small decentralized systems that can power homes and businesses. These decisions are driven by the economy. In the past ten years, the price of photovoltaic (PV) energy has fallen by approximately 80%. Batteries can be installed quickly and provide modularity, both of which are very attractive to the region. For example, Sahel countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali are developing regional solar parks as demonstration projects in other West African countries.

And the focus is not limited to residential use. One priority is to promote local agricultural processing, irrigation, and light industry. Moving to a safer, low-carbon energy future, lower operating costs, and stronger power grids has multiple benefits for these countries, from economic and social development to security. Well-designed regulations are essential to realize these benefits and ensure their implementation in developing countries.

The battery storage system provides reliable power at a cost of about one-third of that of a diesel generator and has better supply chain flexibility.

There are other benefits:

Low-quality and adulterated diesel is highly polluted and is related to major health effects across the African continent. Diesel sales are also often associated with organized crime; in poor communities with little control, consumers can pay higher prices for fuel.

Energy storage can supplement and sometimes replace transmission infrastructure projects, as well as diesel generators and gas-fired power plants. Pumped storage has been in use for decades, but with the decline in costs and the surge in technology, battery storage is now a matter of concern. The International Energy Agency (IEA) included the contribution of batteries to the flexibility of electrical systems for the first time in its 2018 World Energy Outlook.

By 2040, the IEA predicts that the increase in grid-connected batteries will increase by 100 times compared with the present.

Battery storage systems have proven to be cost-effective in balancing supply and demand on a time scale of a few seconds. As a result, frequency changes are restricted, the number of power outages is reduced, operating costs are reduced, and system stability is improved, benefiting all customers. The Gambia and the Central African Republic are seeking battery storage to help stabilize their fragile networks.

If managed properly, the next battery boom is expected to bring a series of other benefits. The demand for metals and minerals (such as cathode materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt) that are key components of these next-generation batteries is expected to grow rapidly, sometimes by 2050 by nearly 10%, some of which are in African countries.

One of the biggest challenges in the energy transition in Africa will be to ensure that the governance and management of the extractive industries are strengthened so that Africans can benefit from the imminent prosperity and address sustainability and working conditions in the supply chain.

Related to this idea, is a new international partnership to expand the use of energy storage and to introduce new technologies into the accessible energy systems of multiple developing countries. Recognizing the need to expand energy storage deployment in developing countries and the important opportunities that energy storage provides In order to increase power supply and integrate more renewable energy, the Energy Storage Association (ESP) will promote international cooperation in the following areas:

Technology Research, system integration, policies, and regulations to help develop energy storage solutions that meet the needs of developing countries. So far, the scale of investment has been small, but it is significant in emerging markets.

Globally, the bank has provided approximately 15% of the fixed battery storage capacity that has been deployed or is being developed, mainly through micro-grid projects and island countries to increase resilience. But now larger projects are being developed. For example, in Mali and Burkina Faso, the bank is using photovoltaic cell systems to develop the largest solar parks in the region.

These projects will combine standard bidding and risk elimination tools to attract private developers. To some extent, developing countries will set the pace for the energy transition. So far, grid-scale battery technology has been mainly deployed in OECD countries, but by sharing experiences and lessons and showing the benefits of battery storage, this new solution should become the basis for economic growth in the global South.

The power of developing countries Technology is constantly evolving, and the problems that posed enormous challenges to humankind in the past can now be easily solved. Electricity is taken for granted, but in many remote areas, achieving a reliable power supply is still a challenge.

~ Deepansh Pratap

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store