Optimizing the insertion of renewable energy in the off-grid regions of Colombia
Viteri, Juan Pablo
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Electricity is essential for the economic growth and welfare of poor communities. However, 15% of the world's population does not have access to it. In Colombia, 52% of the territory is not connected to the national electricity grid, due to remoteness and difficult access from the main urban centers. About 2 million people live there, vulnerable and stricken by severe poverty. Some electricity is available to offgrid areas through fossil-based technologies, which provide a polluting and costly service. Renewable energy could be an opportunity for the development of these off-grid areas, but finding affordable solutions is needed to ensure sustainability. An optimization model for planning appropriate stand-alone, renewable-based electricity systems for off-grid communities is developed. It facilitates the evaluation of different technological configurations of renewables, fossil fuels, and batteries, as well as the randomness of demand and climatic variables to determine most advantageous features. To test this model, a case study was undertaken at the isolated community of Playa Potes in Choc o Department, Colombia. The results suggest, as the best solution, an electricity system based on solar power (22 and 29 kWp) and battery storage (74 and 93 kWh) to satisfy current and future requirements at affordable prices (35e38 ¢/kWh). These results point at the large potential for introducing renewable energy technologies to supply electricity to off-grid communities in Colombia, instead of relying just on fossil-based fuels.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.06.327
- Año 2019 
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