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Promoting progress in African Power Pools

Research grant for new graduates in engineering or economics willing to analyze the process of development of regional power pools in Africa. The aim of this PhD thesis is to develop plans for the effective and efficient evolution of these pools, for them to realize their full potential, and quantitatively assess the implementation of some of the most prominent regional solutions proposed in the context of these markets. The student shall have access to relevant decision makers in some of these regions, allowing access to data to quantitatively assess key research issues on trading schemes and transmission regulatory approaches proposed within the thesis project. This topic is very timely and will remain so in the African regulatory community for years to come. The end of this research line is, therefore, open.
The set of activities to be undertaken under this approach follows:

Getting familiar with the situation in the African Power Pools and the relevant literature on the design of regional markets, including their institutional setting, and the regulation of electricity transmission, especially in the context of regional markets. A thorough literature review is to be conducted on these topics.

Development of a conceptual assessment framework of the design of a regional market and the regulation of the regional electricity transmission activity in it for their implementation in a developing region.

Application of this framework to the schemes applied in some of the most paradigmatic regional markets in the world to identify the most promising solutions for their implementation in specific regional pools.

Probably, the core activity of the thesis project is the design of intertwined lines of action for the future, stage-by-stage, evolution of the market design and transmission regulation in some regional pools in Africa. These should consider the interactions, or interdependencies, existing among the several solutions proposed concerning different challenges of regional pools. The set of Pools considered should, at least, include the WAPP, and, most probably, the SAPP.

Quantitative assessment of the implementation of the solutions proposed and, probably, also of their contenders. This includes the collection of the relevant data and the proper computation of results of the application of the solutions assessed and their contenders. Those aspects to be quantitatively assessed include the regional network cost allocation process and its interaction with other processes, like the energy dispatch or the development of the required infrastructure. Programming the implementation of the methods concerned may be necessary.

Drafting of the thesis report and the scientific articles to be published throughout the thesis project.

What do we offer?
Full-time annual contract for the completion of the PhD and its corresponding training activities. The selected person will be hired every year for a maximum period of 3 years. The gross salary for the first year is 24.410,00 € for the year 2021. In addition, the IIT covers 90% of the fees for the training activities and will have access to all the services offered by the University (Sports, Cultural Activities, Library, etc.).

Candidates should have a background in engineering or economics. Previous knowledge about the engineering, economics, and regulation of power systems will be highly appreciated. They should have a very good command of English, preferably with proven drafting ability. The remuneration to be earned by the student is competitive, and the start of this PhD project is expected to be as early as possible.

Curriculum vitae, academic record, cover letter and two recommendation letters.