imageWith the available transmission technology today, the prospect of importing renewable electricity from remote and thinly settled regions is economically viable and technically feasible. High Voltage Direct Current transmissions have a high availability and reliability rate, as shown by over 50 years of operation. For large electricity transfers, High Voltage Direct Current technology (HVDC) enables very fast control of power flows which implies stability improvements not only for the HVDC link but also for the entire surrounding AC systems. 

At present, more than 130 GW of electric capacity are being transmitted through High Voltage Direct Current transmission lines in over 140 projects worldwide. Their main purpose is to actually transfer large amounts of hydro-power from remote sites to urban, industrial centers with high demands for electricity. Among these projects we could mention that of Itaipu in South America , the Pacific Intertie or the one linking the North Eastern United States (New England including New York City) that is currently fed with low-cost hydro-electricity generated out of Canada's large power dams located more than three thousand kilometers away (1900 miles). This distance actually represents a transmission line length long enough to connect Africa's Sahara desert wind resources to the middle of Europe.
The existing High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology enables large electricity transfers to limit cumulative line and AC-DC-AC converting losses, to less than 15% over a distance of 3500 km. The overall transfer costs per kilowatt/hour for such a long transmission line inclusive of the losses are lower than 2 €ct/kWh.

The integration of the Atlantic trade winds to supply regional electricity transmission networks will facilitate their access. By reinforcing African grid networks, the Sahara Wind project’s 5 GW HVDC transmission line enables excess wind energy to be delivered to both Sub-Saharan and European electricity markets. This energy provides a market-based renewable energy alternative essential to support the region’s sustained economic development.
With a phased implementation and a threshold capacity of 400-500 MW submitted to international funding institutions in 2005, the Sahara Wind project initial phases is focused on building capacities through industrial synergies. Once deployed on a regional basis, the Project’s sheer size enables significant economies of scales to be achieved.
In supporting the diversification of its energy supply through a regionally integrated project development framework based on a more efficient transformation of mineral resources,  climate and energy security prospects can be effectively addressed. As main beneficiaries of this renewable power infrastructure, Africa and Europe might be on the course of initiating a broader sustainable energy and resource revolution.
 Base informations  Investment Costs
 Performance class  5 GW  
 Rated voltage  +-500 kV  
 Type  Double bipol  
 Converting station  2 * 60 €/kW  120 €/kWel. ratedpower
 Line Distance  3500 km  
 Aerial line    70 €/(kW * 1000 km)  245 €/kWel. ratedpower
 Sea cable  700 €/(kW * 1000 km)    35 €/kWel. ratedpower
 Total Investment Cost    400 €/kWel. ratedpower
 Life time  25 years  
 Operation & Maintenance Costs  1% of investment costs/yr  
 Interest rate  5%  
 Transmission losses (average)  7.5%  
 Investment Costs of HVDC line from Sahara Desert through Europe your social media marketing partner
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