Providing Sustainable Life-solutions with a Hybrid Micro-Power Plant in Developing Countries: an Assessment of Potential Applications
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Today, energy access is a significant challenge all over the world, particularly in African countries. At the same time, providing energy access is generally accepted as a way to promote sustainable development. In countries such as Uganda, lack of energy access is evident. In this country only 9% of households have access to electricity. About 87% of these households are located in rural and remote areas. Thus, off-grid rural electrification solutions are required to supply electricity services to a significant part of the population.The ultimate objective of this thesis is to propose a specific solution to cover basic energy needs of the rural population considering environmental, social and economic benefits. How can sustainable life solutions be provided in rural areas, by using the energy surplus from a decentralized small-scale biomass gasification power plant? The analysis used as a starting point the Green Plant Concept, which considers the design of a sustainable off-grid platform that produces energy to provide life solutions and also to excite local entrepreneurship in the rural sites where it is implemented. The concept implies participation of the private sector – a telecommunication company – which is a unique feature in the context of rural energization.To develop our analysis, a field trip has been conducted in Uganda, Africa, to answer sub-questions such as How to reach a cost-effective system? How to adapt a business oriented approach to the community’s life-style in order to be well accepted? How to foster the development of the area by having a positive socio-economic impact on society? How to create an environmental friendly solution? How to achieve the maximum efficiency in terms of reusing waste? Tools such as Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) and SWOT analysis were used to interpret collected information and identify impacts of the suggested solutions.The research has shown the great potential of the Green Plan Concept. We conclude by selecting three applications that can enhance the provision of basic energy needs while creating benefits for the stakeholders involved in the process: i) Mini-Grid solutions, ii) Battery Charging Stations and iii) Heat Pipe Exchangers. We also highlighted the relevance of bringing, in addition to appropriated technologies, different stakeholders together, considering their common interests.The research is finalized by estimating the payback period based on the current and expected energy consumption and the capital investment related to the suggested applications. It is important to highlight that the payback time estimations do not include the participation of the telecom companies. This means that the estimated payback period of 7 years could be significantly reduced by the inclusion of this stakeholder.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Energy access; Renewable energy; Decentralized energy supply; Gasification; small-scale power plant; life-solutions.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122296OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-122296DiVA: diva2:621912
Subject / course
Master of Science - Sustainable Technology
2013-03-11, Brinellvägen 68, Stockholm, 15:23 (English)
Gomez, Maria F.