Modelling Potential African Energy Futures - an interview with Yohannes Gebretsadik

Yohannes Gebretsadik (MIT) is working on an approach to modelling which will combine water resource modelling with an energy model and an economic model. Climate change is now widely recognized as a major threat and it is essential to evaluate how this translates into impact on hydropower generation. 

Wind and solar energy are clean energy sources with little or no carbon emissions, but they are intermittent in generating capacity.   On their own their reliability is low.  Combining them with hydropower means that the reservoirs can be used as a back-up system – using the storage capacity of the reservoirs, in effect, as a battery. South Africa has huge solar and wind potential. 

The model looks at combining South Africa’s renewables potential with the storage capacity of dams in the Zambezi River basin to obtain a synergetic effect.