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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3886

Title: Renewable rural electrification: sustainability assessment of mini-hybrid off-grid technological systems in the African context
Authors: Brent, AC
Rogers, DE
Keywords: Sustainability science
Sustainable development
Technology management
Technology assessment
Technology transfer
Sustainability indicators
Issue Date: May-2009
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Brent, AC and Rogers, DE. 2009. Renewable rural electrification: sustainability assessment of mini-hybrid off-grid technological systems in the African context. Renewable Energy, Vol.35, pp 257–265
Abstract: The investigation summarised in this paper applied a sustainability assessment methodology on a renewable energy technological system in a rural village project that was commissioned by the South African Department of Minerals and Energy. The project comprised of wind, solar and lead acid battery energy storage technologies that were implemented as a mini-hybrid off-grid electrification system for the village. The sustainability assessment methodology predicts the outcomes of such interventions by way of a learning model using discipline experts in the fields of economics, sociology, ecosystem sustainability, institutional governance, and the physics and chemistry of energy conversion processes. The comparison of the projects outcomes with a South African sustainable development framework shows that the specific village renewable off-grid electrification system is not viable. The main reason is that charges for electricity supply costs in village grids are too high for available subsidies; the economies of scale for renewable energy supply technologies favour national grids. The failure of the integrated system may also be attributable to the complexity of the social-institutional sub-system, which resulted in uncertainty for project planners and system designers, and the lack of resilience of the technological system to demands from the socio-economic and institutional sub-systems. Policy-related recommendations are made accordingly.
Description: Copyright: 2009 Elsevier. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the Journal, Renewable Energy, Vol. 35, pp 257–265
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/3886
ISSN: 0960-1481
Appears in Collections:Sustainability science
General science, engineering & technology

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