MICROGRID SIZING FOR RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN DEVELOPING AFRICAN COUNTRIES
Keywords:Microgrids, Smart grid, ELDI, Electricfication, Smart City
Although the results of electricity demand studies vary widely, they all conclude that the current gap between supply and demand in developing countries is already very substantial and that, it will become more entrenched under a ‘business as usual’ scenario. It’s hard to run a business or a home without power, and those lucky few who are connected to a grid usually find electricity erratic and unpredictable. As a result, Africans self-generate a significant portion of their electricity with highly polluting off-grid alternatives and at a cost that is more than twice the cost of grid-based power. An important component of Smart City is the Smart Grid (SG), which is regarded as the next generation power grid to create a widely distributed energy generation and delivery network. Microgrid is a crucial and vital part of the development of smart grid. In Africa where most of the countries have extremely low electrification rates, microgrids have been set up to try and bring electricity to people living in villages. These microgrids utilise both conventional fuels and renewable resources. The majority are based on Solar PV deployed in areas that are isolated from the main grid. Due to insufficiency of transmission line capacity to attend with the increasing demand, more concern is growing towards distributed generators and microgrids. With distributed generation comes several issues like power quality assurance (from the several generating stations), balancing energy demand and supply, security, smart metering for tariff management, etc. In this paper, a microgrid sizing for rural electrification in developing countries is done.