HVDC links between North Africa and Europe: Impacts and benefits on the dynamic performance of the European system
In the last decade, there have been several initiatives for the deployment of cross-Mediterranean HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) links to enable the transmission of electrical power from renewable energy sources between North Africa and Europe. These initiatives were mainly driven by the potential economic, environmental and technical benefits of these HVDC interconnections. In previous studies on these projects, some technical aspects of critical importance have not been addressed or studied in sufficient detail. One of these key aspects relates to the impact and possible benefit of these HVDC links on the dynamic performance of the European system which is the major focus of this paper. Several issues relating to the dynamic performance of the system are addressed here. Based on the experience gained from existing AC/DC projects around the world, this paper shows that the HVDC links between North Africa and Europe can greatly improve the dynamic performance of the European system especially in the southern regions. In addition, some challenges on the operation and control of these HVDC links are highlighted and solutions to overcome these challenges are proposed. This review paper, therefore, serves as a preliminary study for further detailed investigation of specific impacts or benefits of these interconnections on the overall performance of the European system.