Designing low carbon pathways for rural electrification

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics

Abstract

Currently some 1.1 billion people lack access to electricity globally. This represents both a
challenge and an opportunity, in terms of meeting economic development goals without
incurring increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Recent falls in cost of solar photovoltaics
(PV), wind power and battery storage indicate that renewable solutions for energy access
may soon be available at comparable or lower cost than conventional alternatives. The
Grantham institute has developed a set of home-built models for the design of off grid, gridconnected
and hybrid power systems, and system optimisation in terms of both cost and
emissions impact, which can be applied to definition of low carbon pathways for improved
electricity access in rural areas. In this project, the student will develop and apply the
models to the evaluation of electrifcation solutions, such as mini-grids based on solar PV
and batteries, and hybrid systems including conventional fuels and limited grid access. The
work will address different geographical contexts taking account of local resource
availability, policy, economic development trends, technology cost projections, and other
environmental impact. The same techniques can be applied to the design of self-suffcient
energy systems in remote areas of the UK.

Publications

10 25 50