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WIREs Energy Environ.
Impact Factor: 2.514

Comparison of various approaches to design wind‐PV rural electrification projects in remote areas of developing countries

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Nowadays, around 1.1 billion people in rural and remote areas of developing countries remain without electricity. Stand‐alone projects that combine the wind and photovoltaic generation technologies as well as microgrids and individual supplies for the distribution network are an adequate strategy to reach such isolated regions. However, the design of electrification projects is complex, having to define the best combination of generation and distribution technologies, under a challenging social context and tight technoeconomic resources. In order to ease decision‐making, several tools have been developed in the literature and are here reviewed, grouped into three main categories: optimization processes, aiming to minimize project costs subject to technical constraints, through exact or heuristic algorithms; multicriteria processes, using different methods to select the best among a set of predefined scenarios according to economic, technical, social, and environmental criteria; and systematized tools, that have been developed to provide user‐friendly interface for their larger dissemination in different regions and contexts. Hence, this paper aims to provide researchers and practitioners an analysis of the advantages and limitations of approaches used over the last decade when addressing the designing of wind and/or photovoltaic electrification projects for extremely poor and isolated areas in developing countries, as well as some areas for further research. This article is categorized under: Concentrating Solar Power > Systems and Infrastructure Photovoltaics > Systems and Infrastructure Wind Power > Systems and Infrastructure Energy Infrastructure > Economics and Policy
Comparison of an individual wind system (left) and a combination of wind‐PV generators as well as individual supplies and microgrids (right) (adapted from Ferrer‐Martí et al., ) Demand points, wind turbine options, and PV panel options
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Methodology to design wind‐PV stand‐alone electrification projects combining microgrids and individual supplies (Reprinted with permission from Domenech et al. (). Copyright 2015 Elsevier)
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Impact of different technologies regarding five criteria, using SURE‐DSS (Henao et al., ) current diesel, micro hydro, solar photovoltaic, biomass, current diesel + micro hydro, current diesel + biomass, ideal pentagon
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Solution combining a microgrid and individual supplies for a fictitious community, using ViPOR MV line, LV line, house, community infrastructure, transformer, possible generator locations
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Example of a wind‐PV‐battery system modeled using HOMER software
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Scheme of a wind‐PV‐battery electrification system combining electricity distribution as individual supplies or radial microgrids (Reprinted with permission from Domenech, Ferrer‐Martí, and Pastor (). Copyright 2015 Elsevier)
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Energy Infrastructure > Economics and Policy
Wind Power > Systems and Infrastructure
Photovoltaics > Systems and Infrastructure
Concentrating Solar Power > Systems and Infrastructure

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