A comprehensive methodological approach on the development potential of microgrids and the integration of renewable energies in North Africa

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Coordinator of the project:

Azeddine Houari – Institut de Recherche en Energie Electrique de Nantes Atlantique (IREENA) – Nantes Université (France)

Partners list :


Overall Objectives

The MiDiNA project aims to elaborate a multidisciplinary study to sustain the implementation of MGs to improve power supply and RESs integration in the context of African countries. Beginning with a building-scale MG, the study will first focus on the optimal technoeconomic sizing with the objective to secure off-grid operation and the on-site meteorological and consumer specificities. The objective is then to demonstrate that resilient control solutions will ensure the effectiveness of this concept under critical conditions.

Context: why is this action necessary?

Electricity coverage in North African countries is among the most advanced in Africa. However, in recent years energy demand has been increasing with the growing economic development as well as the increasing use of high energy-consuming loads like Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning loads to handle extreme weather conditions. To cope with this increase in energy needs, grid operators resort to load shedding by switching of non-essential load equipment’s. Load shedding reduces consumers comfort and impacts the economic development of these countries.

In this context, the recent development of energy and digital communication technologies enabled the development of new grid paradigms. Among these paradigms, the development of MicroGrid (MG) systems appears as a suitable solution to encourage the integration of RESs while addressing the increasing load demand.

What are the concrete actions that will be implemented?

In this project, several original and innovative actions will be implemented. In first step, synthesis work will be carried out for the constitution of a database of techno-economic models of the different MG components to be considered for the project. These models will concern both the most recent component technologies such as Li-ion batteries, photovoltaic panels including bi-facial technology, vertical axis wind turbines (easier to integrate on Buildings), power converters, etc., but also older and widely proven components, such as the classic lead-acid batteries, or even second-life batteries, which are of very significant economic interest.

Through the use of accurate on-site data of representative arid regions, will lead to original sizing solutions for building integrated MG. Based on these modelling and realistic information collected, techno-economic sizing solutions will be proposed for a building integrated MG, while considering the on-site specificities.

What is the expected impact of the project?

The project explores the benefits of MG technologies to support the deployment of eco-friendly RE sources to secure power supply at the small and medium-sized scale communities in North Africa. It can contribute to develop their energy sector and to achieve a sustainable energy mix that supports their low-carbon development strategies while enhancing economic and energy security. More specifically, the project aims to develop a comprehensive methodological approach taking into account technical, economic and societal aspects to find optimal solutions.

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First Meeting for the MiDiNA partners

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As part of the LEAP-RE Project Portfolio...

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The LEAP-RE consortium gathers 83 African and European partners covering a wide range of sectors: education/research, private sector, policy and funding. Together, they are building a long-term partnership of African and European stakeholders committed to fostering research and innovation for the development of renewable energy.

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