Recent GLS analysis, accomplished for two national electricity companies, illustrates how new transmission infrastructure can reduce energy system emissions by replacing traditional fuels, and reducing congestion when integrating renewables. In one African case, analysis showed that the economic benefit of a new transmission line, from carbon reduction alone, was 3.0% of GDP, while the total economic benefits were 4.5% of GDP.
The transmission line will eventually connect a mini-grid to the primary grid. At present the mini-grid is supplied by hydropower; but during seasons of low-flow, a diesel generator is required to service the load. The total CO2 mitigated over the lifetime of the line was calculated to be 2.7 MT. The model was built assuming a CO2-eq for traditional fuel of 1.5 kg/kWh, and a cost of carbon of USD 0.036/kg. The anticipated load of the new line, previously forecasted by AECOM, was used as a proxy for the current energy now being sourced from traditional fuels.
Richard Swanson, Ph.D.
Asset valuation and project finance expert, specializing in financial and economic analysis of civil infrastructure assets.