Hybrid Renewable Energy Microgrid for a Residential Community: A Techno-Economic and Environmental Perspective in the Context of the SDG7
Energy, being a prime enabler in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs), should be affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern. One of the SDGs (i.e., SDG7) suggests that it is necessary to ensure energy access for all. In developing countries like India, the progress toward SDG7 has somewhat stagnated. The aging conventional electric power system has its dominant share of energy from fossil fuels, plagued with frequent power outages, and leaves many un-electrified areas. These are
... areas. These are not characteristics of a sustainable and modern system in the context of the SDG7. Promoting renewable-based energy systems, especially in the context of microgrids (MGs), is one of the promising advances needed to rejuvenate the progress toward the SDG7. In this context, a hybrid renewable energy microgrid (HREM) is proposed that gives assurance for energy access to all in an affordable, reliable, and sustainable way through modern energy systems. In this paper, a techno-economic and environmental modeling of the grid-independent HREM and its optimization for a remote community in South India are presented. A case of HREM with a proposed configuration of photovoltaic/wind turbine/diesel generator/battery energy storage system (PV/WT/DG/BESS) was modeled to meet the community residential electric load requirements. This investigation dealt with the optimum sizes of the different components used in the HREM. The results of this model presented numerous feasible solutions. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to identify the best solution from the four optimized results. From the results, it was established that a PV + DG + BESS based HREM was the most cost-effective configuration for the specific location. In addition, the obtained optimum solutions were mapped with the key criteria of the SDG7. This mapping also suggested that the PV + DG + BESS configuration falls within the context of the SDG7. Overall, it is understood that the proposed HREM would provide energy access to households that is affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern.