Scaling renewable energy based microgrids in underserved communities: Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa

Andrew Harrison Hubble, Taha Selim Ustun
2016 2016 IEEE PES PowerAfrica  
With 1.3 billion people lacking access to electricity, the demand for power is increasing drastically. Electricity can no longer be considered a luxury, and is necessary for maintaining a modern life expectancy. This paper explores the feasibility of energy production and storage across South America, South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with National Renewable Energy Lab's Geospatial Toolkit and the integrated HOMER interface. Multiple scenarios are constructed based on different community
more » ... fferent community sizes with relative demand and load profiles. Optimization techniques are used to value both traditional generation options (diesel generation), their renewable counterparts (wind and solar), as well as energy storage methods (batteries). Each analysis is based on location-specific irradiance, wind speeds, and fuel prices. Economics remain at the forefront, as a community's ability to purchase the generated power is the centerpiece of this entire investigation. With all three regions in a similar state of development, parallels can be drawn among them. By scrutinizing data from all three continents, similarities can be observed between population density and distribution, their demand and usage of electricity, and purchasing power parity. These similarities can be used to fill gaps in our understanding of how a community may use generated electricity, or how that demand will change over time. This is instrumental in scaling renewable energy based microgrids globally.
doi:10.1109/powerafrica.2016.7556586 fatcat:iefrro7yuvaqrhgt7wejy3jepu