ERG Ph.D. Candidate Grace Wu – New Tool Helps African Countries Find the Best Sites for Renewable Energy Projects

ERG Ph.D. candidate Grace Wu is featured in this IEEE Spectrum article on a tool called Multicriteria Analysis for Planning Renewable Energy (MapRE), developed by ERG and Berkeley Lab Researchers and the International Renewable Energy Agency. MapRE starts with a large spatial database that includes wind speeds and timing, solar insolation, and other physical factors, but also factors in the impact of both the project and the transmission infrastructure it will need. In a recently published article, the authors apply the MapRE tool and show that potential for renewable energy generation is several times greater than demand in many countries.

Wu argues that “the riskiness of these remote projects highlight that the way we are currently prioritizing projects is leading to delays and additional costs. If we want wind and solar to be part of the mix as soon as possible we need to take a different approach to strategic siting.”

Photo: Ngong Hills wind farm just outside of Nairobi, Kenya, from Grace Wu