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Replicability and scalability of mini-grid solution to rural electrification programs in sub-Saharan Africa
University of Johannesburg, Department of Quality and Operations Management, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2189-0105
University of Johannesburg, Department of Quality and Operations Management, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4589-7045
2017 (English)In: Renewable Energy, ISSN 0960-1481, Vol. 106, 222-231 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The assessment of off-grid electrification programs in developing countries largely based on mini-grid and solar home system (SHS) has shown that they are faced with low development imparts and sustainability challenges, which has resulted in failure of many projects. This study provides solutions on how to surmount these challenges, leaning on the experience of a hybrid solar-diesel mini-grid at Tsumkwe village in Namibia. It provides analyses of a case study based on empirical evidence from field studies, interviews of representatives of households, public institutions and energy providers. In addition, it investigates the technical challenges and economic impacts of the electrification program. HOMER™ and MATLAB™ models were used in the analysis and investigations. The findings show that despite the challenges, the system has been sustained because it keyed into an existing structure with growth potentials. The progressive tariff system adopted by the government helped to cushion costs and allow low income households in the energy matrix. Adoption of strict maintenance measures, and implementation of energy efficiency measures prior to the commissioning of the program, resulted in the reduction of costs. The success elements identified in this study could be extrapolated in other sub-Saharan African countries if the challenges are properly addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 106, 222-231 p.
Keyword [en]
Hybrid solar-diesel mini-grid, Levelized cost of electricity, Net present cost, Resource optimization, Rural electrification, Success elements for off-grid electrification
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-34766DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2017.01.017ISI: 000395212500023Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85010391297OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-34766DiVA: diva2:1072703
Available from: 2017-02-08 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2017-02-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf