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Simulating the potential of swarm grids for pre-electrified communities - A case study from Yemen

Author

Listed:
  • Hoffmann, Martha M.
  • Ansari, Dawud

Abstract

Swarm grids are an emerging approach for electrification in the Global South that interconnects individual household generation and storage to a small electricity network for making full use of existing generation capacities. Using a simulation tool for demand, weather, and power flows, we analyse the potential of an AC swarm grid for a large preelectrified village in rural Yemen. Service quality and financial indicators are compared to the cases of individual supply and a centralised micro grid. While the swarm grid would, in fact, improve supply security from currently 12.4 % (Tier 2) to 81.7 % (Tier 3) at lower levelised costs, it would be inferior to the micro grid in both service (Tier 4) and costs. This is mainly driven by the large pre-installed fossil-fuel generator and storage capacities in our case study. However, this situation may be representative for other relevant locations. Under these conditions, a swarm grid poses the danger to create (possibly-undesired) incentives to invest in diesel generators, and it may fail to support prosumerism effectively. Nevertheless, the swarm’s evolutionary nature with the possibility for staggered investments (e.g. in smaller yet complementary groups of consumers) poses a central advantage over micro grids in the short-term alleviation of energy poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoffmann, Martha M. & Ansari, Dawud, 2018. "Simulating the potential of swarm grids for pre-electrified communities - A case study from Yemen," MPRA Paper 88166, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:88166
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/88166/1/MPRA_paper_88166.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wolf-Peter Schill, Alexander Zerrahn, and Friedrich Kunz, 2017. "Prosumage of solar electricity: pros, cons, and the system perspective," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    2. Hadwan, Morshed & Alkholidi, Abdulsalam, 2016. "Solar power energy solutions for Yemeni rural villages and desert communities," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 838-849.
    3. Lee, Mitchell & Soto, Daniel & Modi, Vijay, 2014. "Cost versus reliability sizing strategy for isolated photovoltaic micro-grids in the developing world," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 16-24.
    4. Ansari, Dawud, 2016. "Resource curse contagion in the case of Yemen," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 444-454.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Bartosz Soltowski & David Campos-Gaona & Scott Strachan & Olimpo Anaya-Lara, 2019. "Bottom-Up Electrification Introducing New Smart Grids Architecture—Concept Based on Feasibility Studies Conducted in Rwanda," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-19, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Swarm electrification; swarm grid; micro grid; energy access; distributed generation; Yemen;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q49 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Other

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