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Southern Africa power pool: planning and prospects for renewable energy

This power sector planning tool for Southern African countries, called the System Planning Test (SPLAT) model, enables analysts to design a power system that meets various system  requirements, including reliability. It also takes into account economically optimal configurations (including investment and operation costs) for the system to meet daily and/or seasonally fluctuating demand.

The main findings include: renewable technologies can play increasingly important roles in providing reliable and low-cost power in Southern Africa, reduce fossil fuel consumption, and decentralise renewable options; although investment costs for introducing more renewable technologies into the future power system are higher than for fossil or nuclear, the cost savings effects (i.e. fuel saving and the reduction of transmission and distribution investments) far exceed the additional investment costs; and the Deployment and export of hydro power from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the region would significantly reduce average electricity generation costs.