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Solar photovoltaic potential to complement hydropower in Ecuador : a GIS-based framework of analysis

Jara Alvear, Jose LU (2018) In Master Thesis in Geographical Information Science GISM01 20182
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
In Ecuador, more than 85% of electricity production relies on hydropower and consequently the supply of electricity relies on water availability. During the dry season (October-March) hydropower capacity could diminish up to one-third of its installed capacity or more under a severe drought causing a substantial augmentation of thermoelectric power output to offset the lack of hydropower to cover electricity demand, and consequently increasing the overall operational cost and emission of CO2 of the power system. Compensating hydropower seasonality with non-hydro renewable energy is thus necessary to safeguard and maintain in the long-term the supply of clean and affordable electric service. This thesis studies the potential of non-hydro... (More)
In Ecuador, more than 85% of electricity production relies on hydropower and consequently the supply of electricity relies on water availability. During the dry season (October-March) hydropower capacity could diminish up to one-third of its installed capacity or more under a severe drought causing a substantial augmentation of thermoelectric power output to offset the lack of hydropower to cover electricity demand, and consequently increasing the overall operational cost and emission of CO2 of the power system. Compensating hydropower seasonality with non-hydro renewable energy is thus necessary to safeguard and maintain in the long-term the supply of clean and affordable electric service. This thesis studies the potential of non-hydro renewable energy such as PV to compensate the seasonality of hydropower and assess its impact on the long-term expansion of the Ecuadorian power system. To do so, a GIS-based and participatory multi-criteria analysis is applied to find the best suitable areas to deploy PV power that is complementary to hydropower from a technical, economic and environmental viewpoint. Then, using the Stochastic Dual Dynamic Programming software a long-term simulation (2019-2030) of the power system’s operation under a baseline and alternative expansion scenario without and with PV respectively is performed in order to assess the economic and environmental impact of integrating complementary PV in the expansion of the Ecuadorian power system. Results indicate that the installation capacity potential of complementary PV is 35,7 GWp which is equivalent to 4.3 times the actual capacity of the Ecuadorian power system, and it is distributed in suitable land areas mainly in the South of Ecuador with a total area of 805 km2 that is equivalent to 0.3% of the area of the country. Comparing simulation results of power system expansion scenarios shows that the alternative scenario that considers a high penetration of PV in the power system (3.9 GWp) reduce by half the annual operational cost of the power system and more than one quarter (33%) of the lifecycle GHG emission by 2030. Thus, integrating PV rather than thermoelectric power in the long-term expansion of the power system is the best option from an economic and environmental viewpoint. This study set the basis to encourage planners and decision makers to consider these findings for future expansion plans in order to set up a sustainable power system for Ecuador at low cost and environmental impact. (Less)
Popular Abstract
In Ecuador, one of the smallest country in South America, more than 85% of consumed electricity is produced from recently constructed hydropower plants which have displaced polluting and expensive old thermoelectric power plants. As a result, a considerable reduction of fossil-fuels consumption has been achieved in the power system contributing to tackling and mitigating climate change. However, most hydropower plants are located in the Amazon region, which during the dry season or lack of rainfall (October-March) could diminish up to one-third of its installed capacity. Today, it is not a problem due to the excess of hydropower generation during the dry season; but in the long-term, a substantial augmentation of polluting and expensive... (More)
In Ecuador, one of the smallest country in South America, more than 85% of consumed electricity is produced from recently constructed hydropower plants which have displaced polluting and expensive old thermoelectric power plants. As a result, a considerable reduction of fossil-fuels consumption has been achieved in the power system contributing to tackling and mitigating climate change. However, most hydropower plants are located in the Amazon region, which during the dry season or lack of rainfall (October-March) could diminish up to one-third of its installed capacity. Today, it is not a problem due to the excess of hydropower generation during the dry season; but in the long-term, a substantial augmentation of polluting and expensive thermoelectric power output is foreseen in order to cover future electricity demand growth that cannot be covered by existing hydropower capacity.
Recent research found that large-scale photovoltaic (PV) and wind power can compensate hydropower seasonality. In other words, it was found that when there is a lack of rainfall that reduces hydropower output in other parts of the country there is more sun that can be used to by PV power plants produce electricity and offset the lack of hydropower. Thus, an innovative approach that combines Geographical Information System, local experts’ knowledge and a Stochastic Dual Dynamic Programming software was introduced in order to find the potential of PV that can compensate the lack of hydropower and maintain a high share of renewable energy in the electricity matrix of Ecuador in the long-term.
The results of this thesis confirmed that PV has the ability to compensate hydropower seasonality In Ecuador by developing only 0.3% of the identified potential. PV can bring important economic and environmental benefits by limiting the expansion of polluting and expensive thermoelectric power plants. Thus, this study set the basis to encourage planners and decision makers to consider these findings for future expansion plans in order to set up a sustainable power system for Ecuador at low cost and environmental impact (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Jara Alvear, Jose LU
supervisor
organization
course
GISM01 20182
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
photovoltaic, hydropower, complementarity, GIS, Ecuador
publication/series
Master Thesis in Geographical Information Science
report number
92
language
English
id
8962977
date added to LUP
2018-11-09 08:58:13
date last changed
2018-11-09 08:58:13
@misc{8962977,
  abstract     = {In Ecuador, more than 85% of electricity production relies on hydropower and consequently the supply of electricity relies on water availability. During the dry season (October-March) hydropower capacity could diminish up to one-third of its installed capacity or more under a severe drought causing a substantial augmentation of thermoelectric power output to offset the lack of hydropower to cover electricity demand, and consequently increasing the overall operational cost and emission of CO2 of the power system. Compensating hydropower seasonality with non-hydro renewable energy is thus necessary to safeguard and maintain in the long-term the supply of clean and affordable electric service. This thesis studies the potential of non-hydro renewable energy such as PV to compensate the seasonality of hydropower and assess its impact on the long-term expansion of the Ecuadorian power system. To do so, a GIS-based and participatory multi-criteria analysis is applied to find the best suitable areas to deploy PV power that is complementary to hydropower from a technical, economic and environmental viewpoint. Then, using the Stochastic Dual Dynamic Programming software a long-term simulation (2019-2030) of the power system’s operation under a baseline and alternative expansion scenario without and with PV respectively is performed in order to assess the economic and environmental impact of integrating complementary PV in the expansion of the Ecuadorian power system. Results indicate that the installation capacity potential of complementary PV is 35,7 GWp which is equivalent to 4.3 times the actual capacity of the Ecuadorian power system, and it is distributed in suitable land areas mainly in the South of Ecuador with a total area of 805 km2 that is equivalent to 0.3% of the area of the country. Comparing simulation results of power system expansion scenarios shows that the alternative scenario that considers a high penetration of PV in the power system (3.9 GWp) reduce by half the annual operational cost of the power system and more than one quarter (33%) of the lifecycle GHG emission by 2030. Thus, integrating PV rather than thermoelectric power in the long-term expansion of the power system is the best option from an economic and environmental viewpoint. This study set the basis to encourage planners and decision makers to consider these findings for future expansion plans in order to set up a sustainable power system for Ecuador at low cost and environmental impact.},
  author       = {Jara Alvear, Jose},
  keyword      = {photovoltaic,hydropower,complementarity,GIS,Ecuador},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis in Geographical Information Science},
  title        = {Solar photovoltaic potential to complement hydropower in Ecuador : a GIS-based framework of analysis},
  year         = {2018},
}