Analysis of a Technology Mix in a Renewable Energy Park in MENA – Technology Mix Optimization for a Solar and Wind Park in Kuwait

Duration: 2013
Contracting Authority / Sponsors: Industry

In Kuwait, an energy park with wind, CSP and PV technology and a total capacity of 2 GW is to be built in three phases over an area of 100 km2. A total of 14 potential technologies were selected and evaluated techno-economically in the study. In order to obtain the optimal technology mix for different scenarios, we defined evaluation criteria and developed an optimisation procedure. One important goal is to meet the pronounced peak loads in Kuwait with the park. The optimisation takes account of not only technological but also socio-economic factors, as well as a predicted cost development up to the final expansion phase in 2030.

The study began with technology screening to identify solar and wind technologies which were potentially suitable. The result was a selection of 14 different technological options (3x wind, 5x PV, 6x CSP). Time series for the energy yield over a year were calculated for these options with suitable simulation tools, cost models were prepared and further rating factors such as water consumption and stimulation of employment within the country were determined.

In a cost-benefit analysis, the technology mix options were evaluated according to seven criteria. By assigning different weights to the individual criteria, it was possible to optimise the quantitative composition of the technologies in the park with respect to a single primary goal. Three different scenarios with a focus on generating electricity during peak load periods, a high total annual electricity yield and a low levellised cost of electricity respectively were analysed. 2010 was defined as the reference year for both load and meteorological data.

As boundary conditions for the optimisation, not only the available area and the target capacity of 2 GW were set but also the minimum capacity credit to be achieved – the ratio of newly installed renewable capacity to conventional capacity which it replaced. Based on the optimisation results and after consultation with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, the recommended technology mix consists of 127 MW of wind energy, 723 MW of photovoltaics and 1150 MW of concentrating solar power plants with thermal storage.