Evaluation of the Reliability of Solar Micro-Grids in Emerging Markets – Issues and Solutions
Energy for Sustainable Development, Forthcoming
29 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2018
Date Written: October 26, 2018
One of the most important technical features of a power system is its ability to deliver electricity reliably to the customers. Based on interviews with 12 energy service companies (ESCO) currently operating solar micro-grids in northern rural India, this study identified important factors related to technical design, customer behaviour and operations and management (O&M) that may result in contingencies in service. In addition, the study presents companies’ innovative solutions to overcome these problems. Initially, the interview method allowed only a rough qualitative comparison of different reliability levels as the availability of comparable data was limited. We found that a more descriptive method for reliability assessment would create equally valuable information on renewable off-grid energy projects. We propose a simple framework for assessing reliability that highlights the particular features of off-grid areas in developing countries.
Keywords: micro-grid, reliability, reliability assessment, technical sustainability, energy systems in developing countries, India
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