FlexTool regional studies


Central America flexibility analysis

The Renewable Energy Roadmap for Central America evaluates the integration of renewable and low-carbon technologies into the end-use and power sectors of seven Central American countries. The analysis serves as technical guidance to support the decision-making process of policy makers, energy planners, government institutions and the private sector as they define low-carbon development in the region. IRENA used FlexTool to analyse the flexibility of Central America’s regional power system, and used REmap to evaluate the decarbonisation of end uses.

The scenario with the most ambitious penetration of renewables suggests that the SIEPAC line across the region should reach an optimal transfer capacity of about 2 GW by 2050, from the existing capacity 300 MW. This more interconnected Central America would allow the following:

  • Increase the installed renewable capacity by around 10 GW, while avoiding the commissioning of 900 MW of natural gas-fired plants. It would also reduce the regional grid emission factor from 60 g CO2/kWh generated to 20 g CO2/kWh.
  • Avoid the curtailment of 7 TWh in 2050 under the most aggressive renewable scenario.
  • Bring considerable cost benefits, achieving 7% lower costs per unit of electricity generated by 2050 than the planned energy scenario.

Mutual reliance on regional operation and planning has significant efficiency benefits and can help lower costs while meeting higher electricity demand. Electricity storage is also likely to be necessary, even under the regional grid expansion case (see dashboards below).:

Note: PES - Planned Energy Scenario, TES - Transforming Energy Scenario, DES Decarbonising Energy Scenario


ASEAN energy transition analysis

The nations of Southeast Asia constitute one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing regions globally. Before the pandemic crisis, the region was expected to experience rapid economic growth averaging 5% per year to 2025, resulting in around 50% higher energy demand compared to a decade earlier. The region stands at a crossroads in its collective energy future. Growth brings challenges as the ASEAN region strives to supply energy affordably, sustainably and securely. The region is already starting to see the effects of rising energy import dependency, higher levels of air pollution and rising emissions. A response to the current crisis also has the potential to lock in investments for years to come.

IRENA is preparing a new analysis and report, the “ASEAN Energy Transition Outlook: Energy Transformation 2050”, to define an energy system transition pathway for the region driven by renewable energy while emphasising affordability, sustainability and security. IRENA is preparing the power sector assessment component, which will look at how the ten ASEAN countries together can maximise renewables by adopting integrated and co operative operations.