Hybrid Power Solutions Showing Real Benefit
Traditionally, electricity supply on islands, in remote areas or in isolated industrial plants is often based on diesel generation. However, technology developments and lower costs of renewable energy sources like solar photovoltaic (PV), wind energy or hydropower, offer excellent opportunities for hybrid energy systems, writes Wim Jonker Klunne, Programme Director of the Energy & Environment Partnership Programme (EEP).
In remote rural areas in Africa, electrification through grid extensions is often not viable. The long distances involved and low electricity demand do not justify bringing the national grid to these places.
Traditionally, local mini grids powered by diesel generators have been the solution provided. From a cost perspective, nor from an environmental view point, diesel mini grids are a sustainable solution.
Retrofitting existing diesel power mini grids with a renewable energy based generator is currently taking place in several countries in Africa. Typically this will include the addition of a solar PV component.