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

Publication date: November 2016Source:Renewable Energy, Volume 97
Author(s): Alireza Haghighat Mamaghani, Sebastian Alberto Avella Escandon, Behzad Najafi, Ali Shirazi, Fabio Rinaldi
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.

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