Potentials for Compressed Air Energy Storage within the „Energiewende“
1. July 2015
Assessment of potential for hybridization of diesel power plants on Bequia
1. July 2015

Comparison of Off-Grid Electrification versus Grid Extension

Project period 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016

This PhD project aims at a comparison of off-grid electrification versus grid extension with a focus on influencing parameters and the role of renewable energies from a geographic point of view to enable location-based recommendations for the design of the optimal energy system in regions with insufficient electricity access. Renewable energy resources allow for various means of producing electricity. Besides traditional central electrification production schemes, and transmission and distribution grid development, more and more decentralized approaches are developed. In this case the electricity generation takes place in spatially distributed small plants. The technological progress of the renewable energy technologies provides extensive perspectives for decentralized and centralized electricity generation. However, the change towards higher shares of renewables requires new structures for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Decentralized systems benefit from this development in particular, as renewable energies are spatially abundant in many regions of the world. The project focuses on small systems so as to evaluate their advantages.
The objective of the PhD thesis supervised at Justus-Liebig University Gießen and financed by the Reiner Lemoine-Stiftung is to define parameters that are from a geographical point of view decisive to find regions which profit from the development of decentralized renewable solutions. There still exist many regions with low access to electrification and lack of connections to electrical grids. Consequently the question arises, for which regions the development of independent renewable solutions is more profitable than a connection to existing grids. Advantages and disadvantages, as well as difficulties and barriers of implementation shall be analyzed in order to recommend a course of action for the respective regions. With the help of field trips these parameters are defined, validated and locally improved. These results then form the basis for the simulation of decentralized off-grid energy systems with renewable energies. The resulting optimized costs (levelized costs of electricity [LCOE]) are compared to the costs of the given electricity costs and the grid development costs for each region. This analysis enables location-based recommendations for the design of the optimal energy system in regions with insufficient electricity access.


Catherina Cader

PhD candidate