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Achieving 100% Renewable and Self-Sufficient Electricity in Impoverished, Rural, Northern Climates: Case Studies from Upper Michigan, USA
Energy and Environmental Analysis Group, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Albany, NY, 12203, USA; Havenergy Consulting Inc, Albany, NY, 12203, USA.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Applied Thermodynamics and Refrigeration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2603-7595
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5B9, Canada.
2022 (English)In: Electricity, E-ISSN 2673-4826, Vol. 3, no 3, p. 264-296Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development of 100% renewable electricity (RE) systems play a pivotal role in ensuring climate stability. Many municipalities blessed with wealth, an educated and progressive citizenry, and large RE resources, have already reached 100% RE generation. Impoverished municipalities in unwelcoming environments both politically and climatically (e.g., northern latitudes with long, dark winter conditions) appear to be incapable of transitioning to renewables. This study challenges that widespread assumption by conducting a detailed technical and economic analysis for three representative municipalities in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Each municipality is simulated with their own hourly electricity demand and climate profiles using an electrical supply system based on local wind, solar, hydropower, and battery storage. Sensitivities are run on all economic and technical variables. Results show that transition to 100% RE is technically feasible and economically viable. In all baseline scenarios, the 100% RE systems produced a levelized cost of electricity up to 43% less than the centralized utility rates, which are predominantly fueled by gas and coal. Current policies, however, prevent such self-sufficient systems from being deployed, which are not only detrimental to the global environment, but also aggravate the economic depression of such regions. Potential energy savings advance the prohibitive energy justice principle.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2022. Vol. 3, no 3, p. 264-296
Keywords [en]
just transition, municipalities, renewable electricity, rural northern climate, self-sufficient
National Category
Energy Engineering Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-335675DOI: 10.3390/electricity3030016Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85159596227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-335675DiVA, id: diva2:1795351
Note

QC 20230908

Available from: 2023-09-08 Created: 2023-09-08 Last updated: 2023-09-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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