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Spatially explicit electrification modelling insights: Applications, benefits, limitations and an open tool for geospatial electrification modelling
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy Systems Analysis.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Developing countries confront the challenge of generating more electricity to meet demands in a sustainable manner. According to the World Bank’s 2015 Global Tracking Framework, roughly 15% of world population (or 1.1 billion people) lack access to electricity, and many more rely on poor quality electricity supplies. In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Agenda 2030 comprised of a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and defined by 169 targets. “Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030” is the seventh goal (SDG7). While energy access refers to more than electricity, it is the central focus of this work.

Models addressing electrification and access typically need large volumes of reliable energy-related data and information, which in most developing countries have been limited or not available. This paucity of information has decelerated energy planning in the developing World. That situation has fundamentally changed with increasing availability and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS layers can provide location specific energy-related information that has not been previously accessible. The focus of this thesis lies on integrating a simple electricity supply model into GIS. In so doing a novel open source spatial electrification tool is developed. It estimates power capacity needs and associated investment (and other) costs for achieving universal access to electricity in developing countries.

The dissertation includes a cover essay and six appended papers presenting quantitative methods on coupling selected aspects of GIS and energy systems. It strives to answer three key research questions. 

The first research question is: What is the spatially explicit renewable energy potential that can be technically and economically exploited? This information is currently either missing or scattered in developing countries. The provision of low cost, locally available energy can provide a significant opportunity to empower a better standard of living. The first paper presents a GIS based approach to assess the onshore technical wind energy potential on the African continent by applying socioeconomic and geographic restrictions regarding the localization of wind farms and state of the art wind data analysis. The second paper builds on this knowledge and moves one step further by assessing the economic potential and providing cost indicators to assess the viability of wind power (this time in India). The third paper maps the economic wind power potential in Africa based on the methodologies developed in the two preceding papers. Not only wind power but most energy resources have a spatial nature and their availability is linked to geography. Evaluating these other energy sources (solar, hydro etc.) are included and analysed in Papers IV-VI.

The second research question is: what is the least-cost set of technologies needed to meet different levels of electricity use accounting for different geographies? Increasing access to electricity effectively requires, inter alia, strategies and programmes that address and account for the geographical, infrastructural and socioeconomic characteristics of a country or region. Paper IV introduces a GIS based methodology to inform electrification planning. It builds on the previous work by taking into account the techno-economic wind, and other resource mapping. This methodology is applied in Nigeria in order to determine the least cost technology mix considering the country’s infrastructure and resource availability on a spatial basis. Paper V utilizes this method and in so doing demonstrates the importance of geospatial calculations in energy access planning. It highlights differences in investment estimates between alternate scenarios with regards to energy demand and technology deployment. Paper VI enhances this methodology and applies it to every square kilometre of Sub-Saharan Africa. The method is subsequently implemented in an Open Source Spatial Electrification Tool (OnSSET) to facilitate education, repeatability and further research.

Finally, the third question is: Are there gains to be had by linking geographically explicit analysis with typical (non-spatially explicit) long term energy systems models? The work shows that not only do long-term systems models influence geospatially optimal technology deployment. But vice versa, their output influences long term systems models’ investment profile.  That is because the geospatial disaggregation allows for a better determination of grid versus off-grid connections, and in turn power demand on the national grid. This thesis demonstrates that energy system models should take into consideration the geographic dimension of energy-related parameters, as these play a fundamental role in determining the optimal energy system of a region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, Sweden: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , p. 88
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-207801OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-207801DiVA, id: diva2:1098505
Public defence
2017-06-08, M3, Brinellvagen 68, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170524

Available from: 2017-05-24 Created: 2017-05-24 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Assessing the technical wind energy potential in Africa a GIS-based approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing the technical wind energy potential in Africa a GIS-based approach
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2015 (English)In: Renewable energy, ISSN 0960-1481, E-ISSN 1879-0682, Vol. 83, p. 110-125Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nowadays, Africa faces the challenge of generating more electricity to meet existing and future demand in a sustainable way. Africa is a privileged continent in terms of wind resource regime. However, very little of this has been utilized. It is thus essential to identify and define the amount of wind energy that could be technically exploited on the continent. The utilization of wind energy is associated with a myriad of localization criteria and thus it should be systematically addressed by spatial assessments to guarantee its harmonization with socio-economic systems, infrastructure and ecosystems. This study focuses on onshore wind power on the African continent and strives to provide estimates of theoretical, geographical and technical potential based on state of the art wind power technology. Maps of wind power potential at 80m, which is the hub height of a modern wind turbine will be derived via statistical distribution of wind speed data and implementation of wind power curves. Screening criteria regarding the localization of wind farms and related to socio-economic and geographic constraints are outlined and implemented through a thorough GIS analysis. The results of this work are presented and compared with similar approaches and significant conclusions are drawn. Based on the analysis there are some countries that signify high yearly wind energy yield, such as South Africa, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Mauritania, Tunisia and Morocco, whilst Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Central African Republic, Burundi, Liberia, Benin and Togo indicate the least wind power potential.

Keywords
Africa, GIS, Resource mapping, Wind power potential, Electric utilities, Geographic information systems, Wind, Wind effects, Wind turbines, Central African Republic, Power potential, Socio-economic systems, Statistical distribution, Technical potential, Wind power technology, Wind power
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-167682 (URN)10.1016/j.renene.2015.03.072 (DOI)000358455100013 ()2-s2.0-84928556003 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150602

Available from: 2015-06-02 Created: 2015-05-22 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. A GIS-based approach for electrification planning-A case study on Nigeria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A GIS-based approach for electrification planning-A case study on Nigeria
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2015 (English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826, Vol. 29, p. 142-150Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to the latest Global Tracking Framework (2015), 18% of the global and 57% of the African population live without access to electricity services a key impediment towards social and economic growth. Accelerating access to electricity requires, inter alia, strategies and programmes that effectively address and account for the geographical, infrastructural and socioeconomic characteristics of a country or region. This paper focuses on considering these characteristics by developing a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based methodology to inform electrification planning and strategies. The methodology is applied to Nigeria in order to identify the optimal mix of electrification options, ranging from grid extensions to mini-grid and off-grid solutions. The case study illustrates how this optimal mix is influenced by a range of parameters including population density, existing and planned transmission networks and power plants, economic activities, tariffs for grid-based electricity, technology costs for mini-grid and off-grid systems and fuel costs for consumers. For a certain level of energy access, on-grid connections would be optimal for the majority of the new connections in Nigeria; grid extension constitutes the lowest cost option for approximately 86% of the newly electrified population in this modelling effort with 2030 as the time horizon. However, there are some remote areas with low population densities where a mini-grid or a stand-alone solution are the most economic options; deploying some combination of solar, wind, hydro and diesel technologies depending on the locational resource availability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
Electrification planning, GIS, Energy access
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180613 (URN)10.1016/j.esd.2015.09.007 (DOI)000367122500018 ()2-s2.0-84951841507 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Note

QC 20160121

Available from: 2016-01-21 Created: 2016-01-19 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
3. A geospatial assessment of the techno-economic wind power potential in India using geographical restrictions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A geospatial assessment of the techno-economic wind power potential in India using geographical restrictions
2016 (English)In: Renewable energy, ISSN 0960-1481, E-ISSN 1879-0682, Vol. 97, p. 77-88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

India is a privileged country in terms of wind resource regime. However, most of it remains untapped at the same time as ca 240 million people lack access to electricity in the country (19% of the total population). This calls for a thorough estimation of the amount of wind energy that could be technically and economically seized to assess the potential penetration of wind power into the country's energy system. The utilization of wind energy is associated with a plethora of localization criteria and thus it should be systematically addressed by spatial assessments to guarantee its harmonization with socio-economic systems, infrastructure and ecosystems. This study focuses on onshore wind power and strives to provide with estimates of techno economic potential based on state of the art wind power technology. Socio-economic, geographical and technical criteria regarding the localization of wind farms are outlined and implemented through a detailed a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis. The levelized cost of wind generated electricity is then calculated geospatially. According to this assessment there are several states that signify high yearly wind energy yield, such as Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, whilst Goa and other states indicate the least or negligible wind power potential. The levelized cost of generating electricity ranges between 57 and 100 USD/MWh, which places wind power in a competitive position in the Indian electricity market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Wind energy, India, Economic potential, GIS
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192380 (URN)10.1016/j.renene.2016.05.057 (DOI)000380600500008 ()2-s2.0-84973131294 (Scopus ID)
External cooperation:
Note

QC 20160913

Available from: 2016-09-13 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
4. A GIS based study to estimate the spatially explicit wind generated electricity cost in Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A GIS based study to estimate the spatially explicit wind generated electricity cost in Africa
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206823 (URN)
Note

QC 20170613

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-06-13Bibliographically approved
5. Lighting the World: the first application of an open source, spatial electrification tool (OnSSET) on Sub-Saharan Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lighting the World: the first application of an open source, spatial electrification tool (OnSSET) on Sub-Saharan Africa
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2017 (English)In: Environmental Research Letters, ISSN 1748-9326, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 12, no 8, article id 085003Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Agenda 2030, which comprises a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by 169 targets. 'Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030' is the seventh goal (SDG7). While access to energy refers to more than electricity, the latter is the central focus of this work. According to the World Bank's 2015 Global Tracking Framework, roughly 15% of the world's population (or 1.1 billion people) lack access to electricity, and many more rely on poor quality electricity services. The majority of those without access (87%) reside in rural areas. This paper presents results of a geographic information systems approach coupled with open access data. We present least-cost electrification strategies on a country-by-country basis for Sub-Saharan Africa. The electrification options include grid extension, mini-grid and stand-alone systems for rural, peri-urban, and urban contexts across the economy. At low levels of electricity demand there is a strong penetration of standalone technologies. However, higher electricity demand levels move the favourable electrification option from stand-alone systems to mini grid and to grid extensions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP), 2017
Keywords
sustainable development goals, energy access modelling, geospatial data
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206824 (URN)10.1088/1748-9326/aa7b29 (DOI)000406479300001 ()2-s2.0-85029154197 (Scopus ID)
Funder
J. Gust. Richert stiftelseSwedish Research Council
Note

QC 20170607

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2018-02-27Bibliographically approved
6. The benefits of geospatial planning in energy access - A case study on Ethiopia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The benefits of geospatial planning in energy access - A case study on Ethiopia
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2016 (English)In: Applied Geography, ISSN 0143-6228, E-ISSN 1873-7730, Vol. 72, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Access to clean and affordable modern energy is crucial to fostering social and economic development and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Efficient policy frameworks and effective electrification programs are required in order to ensure that people are electrified in a sustainable manner. These programs differ from country to country depending on geographic and socioeconomic conditions. Electrification planning process must consider the geographical characteristics of the resources as well as the spatial dimension of social and economic drivers of energy demand in order to find the most optimal energy access solution. Geographical theory and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in particular can play a significant role in electrification planning, since they are capable of managing the data needed in the decision making process and may integrate and assess all possible options. This paper focuses on considering these characteristics by applying a recently developed GIS based methodology to inform electrification planning and strategies in Ethiopia. The paper illustrates two major aspects of energy planning; 1.) how the optimal electrification mix is influenced by a range of parameters including population density, existing and planned transmission networks and power plants, economic activities, tariffs for grid-based electricity, technology costs for mini-grid and off-grid systems, and fuel costs for consumers and 2.) how the electrification mix differs from location to location. For a certain level of energy access, on-grid connections would be optimal for the majority of the new connections in Ethiopia; grid extension constitutes the lowest cost option for approximately 93% of the newly electrified population in this modelling effort with 2030 as time horizon. However, there are some remote areas with low population density where a mini-grid (ca. 6%) or a stand-alone solution (ca. 1%) are the most economic options. Depending on local resource availability, these systems deploy varied combinations of solar, wind, hydro and diesel technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
GIS, Energy planning, Energy access
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-190662 (URN)10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.04.009 (DOI)000378967300001 ()2-s2.0-84966320570 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160816

Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-12 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved

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