Improving grid integration of renewable energy

Project description

Project title: Optimal integration of renewable energy sources into the Moroccan power grid.
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Morocco
Partner: National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment (MEME)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Context

Morocco’s energy strategy, which was launched in 2009, made it a regional pioneer in renewable energy: the country aims to generate at least 52 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. In this context, ambitious energy projects such as the Noor Solar Power Station in Quarzazate had already been commissioned by the end of 2019.

Parallel to the large-scale projects, smaller local units, which are growing in popularity with the progressive opening up of the electricity market, will also be increasingly integrated. However, since renewable energy sources are subject to strong fluctuations, the gradual expansion of decentralised energy sources could lead to further uncertainty in the power supply.

Grid integration will pose special challenges to a grid that continues to depend on conventional energy sources to provide a reliable supply of electricity. For an eco-friendly power supply, power grid planning must be optimised and adapted to meet the technical challenges.

The public power generation company and grid operator is one of the key actors in Morocco’s energy transition. The authority has connected several large renewable energy projects to the grid and has taken measures to improve the grid to allow it to be fed with energy from renewable sources.

Objective

The project executing agencies in Morocco develop solution approaches and mobilise the capacity required for the targeted integration of renewable energy. 

Approach

The project addresses the following fields of action:

Adapting instruments and processes for grid management
The project carries out an inventory of the existing grid-related procedures, instruments and methods in order to identify any changes that need to be made for better integration of renewable energy. The findings are shared with local and private grid operators as well. 

Orient infrastructure toward renewable resources
The National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment (MEME) provide the instruments required to plan the grid so that it supports a higher share of renewable energy. These instruments, as well as the methods applied, are identified and adapted. The project then advises the actors on creating a roadmap to boost the share of renewable energy. The electricity provider can use this as a basis for developing a plan designed to optimise the grid and set up production centres.

Offering system services for flexibility and stability
A safe and stable power supply calls for new or modified system services. The electricity provider has already implemented relevant measures to ensure stability and flexibility. The issue is addressed by the project which supports the service provider in launching new system services such as storage solutions or primary and secondary reserves to compensate for frequency fluctuation. The goal is to determine what is required in order to leverage technological and economic opportunities. 

Integrating innovative technologies
In order to ensure the best possible transition, grid operators are trained in the latest innovations that guarantee higher rates of renewable energy integration. To achieve this, the project will develop a programme to raise awareness and share information, in addition to launching an innovation network. A joint pilot research project can further promote the sharing of knowledge between German and Moroccan institutions.

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