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A techno-economic comparison of rural electrification based on solar home systems and PV microgrids

Listed author(s):
  • Chaurey, A.
  • Kandpal, T.C.
Registered author(s):

    Solar home systems are typically used for providing basic electricity services to rural households that are not connected to electric grid. Off-grid PV power plants with their own distribution network (micro/minigrids) are also being considered for rural electrification. A techno-economic comparison of the two options to facilitate a choice between them is presented in this study on the basis of annualised life cycle costs (ALCC) for same type of loads and load patterns for varying number of households and varying length and costs of distribution network. The results highlight that microgrid is generally a more economic option for a village having a flat geographic terrain and more than 500 densely located households using 3-4 low power appliances (e.g. 9Â W CFLs) for an average of 4Â h daily. The study analyses the viability of the two options from the perspectives of the user, an energy service company and the society.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 3118-3129

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:6:p:3118-3129
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    1. Martinot, E. & Cabraal, A. & Mathur, S., 2001. "World Bank/GEF solar home system projects: experiences and lessons learned 1993-2000," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 39-57, March.
    2. Nouni, M.R. & Mullick, S.C. & Kandpal, T.C., 2006. "Photovoltaic projects for decentralized power supply in India: A financial evaluation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3727-3738, December.
    3. Chaurey, A. & Kandpal, T.C., 2009. "Carbon abatement potential of solar home systems in India and their cost reduction due to carbon finance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 115-125, January.
    4. Kumar, Atul & Mohanty, Parimita & Palit, Debajit & Chaurey, Akanksha, 2009. "Approach for standardization of off-grid electrification projects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 1946-1956, October.
    5. Manolakos, D & Papadakis, G & Papantonis, D & Kyritsis, S, 2004. "A stand-alone photovoltaic power system for remote villages using pumped water energy storage," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 57-69.
    6. Chaurey, Akanksha & Ranganathan, Malini & Mohanty, Parimita, 2004. "Electricity access for geographically disadvantaged rural communities--technology and policy insights," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(15), pages 1693-1705, October.
    7. Dakkak, M & Hirata, A & Muhida, R & Kawasaki, Z, 2003. "Operation strategy of residential centralized photovoltaic system in remote areas," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 997-1012.
    8. Kivaisi, R.T, 2000. "Installation and use of a 3 kWp PV plant at Umbuji village in Zanzibar," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 457-472.
    9. Kirubi, Charles & Jacobson, Arne & Kammen, Daniel M. & Mills, Andrew, 2009. "Community-Based Electric Micro-Grids Can Contribute to Rural Development: Evidence from Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1208-1221, July.
    10. Bakos, G.C., 2009. "Distributed power generation: A case study of small scale PV power plant in Greece," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(9), pages 1757-1766, September.
    11. Alzola, J.A. & Vechiu, I. & Camblong, H. & Santos, M. & Sall, M. & Sow, G., 2009. "Microgrids project, Part 2: Design of an electrification kit with high content of renewable energy sources in Senegal," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2151-2159.
    12. Moharil, Ravindra M. & Kulkarni, Prakash S., 2009. "A case study of solar photovoltaic power system at Sagardeep Island, India," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 673-681, April.
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