15 October, 2020

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Where to deploy cost-effective solar and wind farms in Africa?

In this video Jay Doorga gives a 10 minute presentation on his Masters thesis which is titled “Identification of cost-effective deployment sites for utility-scale solar and wind farms in Africa”.

Jay was awarded a MSc in Environmental Conservation and Management with Distinction, from the University of Oxford in 2020.


The rate of urbanisation of a growing African population poses a major threat to the future climate. Significant decarbonisation of the power sector is needed to prevent lock-in to fossil-fuel based energy systems. In his study, Jay developed a power sector decarbonisation model to identify optimum sites for wind and solar farm investments that would result in significant CO2 reductions per MWh of electricity generated. He incorporated legal, technical, environmental, institutional, political, socio-economic and investment risk factors to strategise solar PV and onshore wind farm investment planning.

Jay’s model and analyses revealed that Egypt offers propitious conditions for solar farm investments whilst South Africa provides favourable conditions for wind farm constructions. A finer scale analysis demonstrated that the construction of wind and solar farms in the optimum sites could result in cost-savings of 95.3% and 15.9% per MWh, respectively, as compared to building them in the low potential sites.


Video Content

00:00 Start

00:27 Context

01:46 Background & motivation

03:11 Research Question 1: Which countries would offer the highest decarbonisation potentials pertaining to investments in utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind farms?

04:05 The MCDA Process

04:24 Solar Potential Map 05:15 Wind Case Study 05:19 Wind Potential Map

05:32 Sensitivity Analysis 06:01 Additional Sensitivities 07:48 Research Question 2: Where to strategically invest (in utility-scale wind/solar) in the identified countries to cost effectively decarbonize the electricity grids?

08:09 Wind Mesoscale

09:07 Solar Mesoscale

09:54 Main Conclusion

10:12 Thanks for listening