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Microgrids-as-a-Service for Rural Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa

Qi Liu1, 3, Kondwani Michael Kamoto2, *, Xiaodong Liu3
1 School of Computer and Software, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China.
2 Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China.
3 School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, EH10 5DT, UK.
* Corresponding Author: Kondwani Michael Kamoto. Email: .

Computers, Materials & Continua 2020, 63(3), 1249-1261. https://doi.org/10.32604/cmc.2020.05598

Received 03 January 2020; Accepted 15 January 2019; Issue published 30 April 2020

Abstract

The majority of the population on the African continent is unable to access basic electricity services, this despite the abundance of renewable energy sources (RESs). The inability to adequately tap into these RESs has led to the continued dependence on nonrenewable energy sources such as coal for electricity generation, and kerosene for cooking and lighting, the resulting use of which is poor health conditions. The use of Microgrids (MGs) is being extensively researched as a feasible means of tackling the challenge of electrification, especially in rural and remote areas. Recent times have seen an increasing number of research works focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which is one of the regions with the lowest electrification rates in the world. MGs provide the most suitable means to integrate RESs into the electricity generation process, paving the way towards clean energy for the African continent. This paper presents a review of recent literature on the usage of MG technology for rural electrification, with a specific focus on the applicability of MGs in the SSA context. The paper additionally presents the challenges and opportunities to date. Research findings indicate that SSA has already begun the transition towards clean energy via implementation of RES-based MGs. However, two resonating challenges in the literature are adequate support via policy, and proper planning of project implementation. These two major barriers are needed to be overcome in order to fully utilize MGs for rural electrification in SSA. The key methodology derived from this study is that any effort towards rural electrification requires a sufficient amount of investigation, incorporating both the technological and socio-economic aspects into a suitable design for the target location.

Keywords

Microgrid, rural electrification, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Cite This Article

Q. Liu, K. Michael Kamoto and X. Liu, "Microgrids-as-a-service for rural electrification in sub-saharan africa," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 63, no.3, pp. 1249–1261, 2020.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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