Towards sustainable energy system options for improving energy access in Southern Africa
Access to modern energy services is one of the pre-requisites to improved livelihood, yet the poor, particularly in developing countries, remain tied to unhealthy and inefficient traditional fuels. Renewable energy technologies are increasingly popular energy supply alternatives to fossil-based fuels in many countries. This study presents sustainable energy system implementation options for increasing energy access in developing countries, with special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. A feasibility case study and various implementation options are presented for possible deployment of these systems. Hybrid optimization of multiple energy resources software was used to simulate and validate the proposed hybrid system design and performance. The simulation results indicate that hybrid systems would be feasible options for distributed generation of electric power for remote locations and areas not connected to the electricity grid. Such a hybrid energy system, through providing modern energy services, gives promise to free-up rural communities to engage in productive activities. The opportunity to power or facilitate productive activities such as agro-processing, fabrication and services can potentially reduce poverty.
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