Techno-economic feasibility of photovoltaic, wind, diesel and hybrid electrification systems for off-grid rural electrification in Colombia

Highlights

Application of photovoltaic, wind turbine and diesel generator in a hybrid system.

Using HOMER to find the optimal systems from economic and environmental viewpoints.

Net present cost, cost of energy and pollutant emissions are the main performance indexes.

Sensitivity analysis has conducted considering variations in fuel price and solar panel price.

Abstract

Electrification to rural and remote areas with limited or no access to grid connection is one of the most challenging issues in developing countries like Colombia. Due to the recent concerns about the global climatic change and diminishing fuel prices, searching for reliable, environmental friendly and renewable energy sources to satisfy the rising electrical energy demand has become vital. This study aims at analyzing the application of photovoltaic (PV) panels, wind turbines and diesel generators in a stand-alone hybrid power generation system for rural electrification in three off-grid villages in Colombia with different climatic characteristics. The areas have been selected according to the “Colombia’s development plan 2011–2030 for non-conventional sources of energy”. First, different combinations of wind turbine, PV, and diesel generator are modeled and optimized to determine the most energy-efficient and cost-effective configuration for each location. HOMER software has been used to perform a techno-economic feasibility of the proposed hybrid systems, taking into account net present cost, initial capital cost, and cost of energy as economic indicators.

Keywords

  • Hybrid energy systems;
  • Photovoltaic;
  • Wind;
  • Diesel system;
  • Economic analysis;
  • HOMER

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