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Sustainable Energy Access for All: Initial tools to compare technology options and costs
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy Systems Analysis.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents analytical advances to support quantitative insights into national and local policies for achieving energy access goals. The key objective is the creation of an analytical tool to compare technology options for achieving energy access goals and to estimate the cost of reaching those goals. To achieve that objective, the thesis is divided into three interconnected and complementary foci.

A pillar for such an analytical tool is an effective energy access metric. As the old adage goes: you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Therefore, the first focus of this thesis is on aspects of measuring energy access. In this thesis, energy access is not considered as a binary metric (access or no access) but as a service-oriented metric including information on how energy is used. Measuring the status of both current and future energy access-and-use goals (as well as tracking the progress in between) is crucial for supporting planning and choosing technology approaches. Different metrics are investigated and priority is given to two families of metrics: those useful for tracking the progress of energy access-and-use with available data, and those adequate for supporting future energy planning. In this context, special emphasis is given to one metric for each of these two groups: first to the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI) and second to the World Bank’s Multi-Tier framework. The MEPI is assessed for as wide a set of countries as possible. The index appears effective to evaluate the status and recent trends in energy access-and-use at the national and regional scale with readily available data. For instance, MEPI results show how the intensity of energy poverty consistently decreases over time in all countries considered. Foci two and three of this thesis rely on the Multi-Tier framework. The Multi-Tier framework appears to be effective (and increasingly adopted) for setting energy access targets and evaluating the implications of those targets on technology choices and costs.

The second focus of this thesis concentrates on a limited set of case studies to gain insights and develop tools for policy support and national energy planning (focus 3). In fact, information from local energy access studies might be scaled up to advise national and regional-scale energy access planning. In this part, three case studies are evaluated. The first is a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) comparing electrification options in the Brazilian Amazon that explores selected techno-economic, environmental, social and institutional criteria. The multi-criteria analysis shows how renewable and hybrid systems present a number of advantages for application in isolated areas of the region compared to the current dominate practice of using diesel generators. Furthermore, the study outputs reveal key drivers to consider when choosing among electrification options. This provides a basis for contextualizing the electrification tool developed in focus three of the thesis. Specifically, techno-economic criteria provide the backbone of the tool while the remaining parameters offer guidelines for its case-by-case implementation. The second study focuses on the cost-comparison of technology approaches for electrification and cooking. A local level energy system optimization model for a rural village in Timor Leste shows that, in the period 2010-2030, achieving the highest tier of electricity access could be as much as 75 times more costly than achieving the lowest tier. In addition, when moving across tiers, least cost solutions shift from stand-alone to mini-grid and finally grid connected options as electricity access increases. On the other hand, regarding cooking, moving from open fires to some of the more modern solutions has the potential to reduce overall costs over the same period. In the case study, the determinants of the costs of electrification projects are identified. These include (i) target level and quality of energy access, (ii) population density, (iii) local grid connection characteristics and (iv) local energy resource availability, fuel type and technology cost. The third case study analyzes the role of productive uses of energy for both local development and energy access. It adds a piece in the energy access puzzle looking both at the role and costs associated with energy in productive activities, and at the potential role of productive activities for powering rural populations up to different tiers of energy access. The analysis develops an analytical framework to assess and support productive uses of energy in agriculture. The resulting framework is then applied to a specific case of sisal production in rural Tanzania. Results from the case study show how combining the planning of energy access with productive uses could result in win-win-win solutions for the local utilities, companies and residents. This case study provides essential insights into how new policy tools may develop, moving beyond simple household use.

Finally, the third focus area expands and applies insights gained from the previous case study sections to develop generalized, simplified and scalable models. Key outputs from this thesis thus include both a tool and its corresponding guidelines. The first thesis output considers a deliberately simple model for comparing technology options that support electricity access-and-use goals. The second thesis output provides a series of suggestions for using it to inform electrification planning. When given an electricity access target, the tool permits a cost-comparison of technology approaches under a combination of local characteristics such as population density, resource availability, fossil fuel prices and generation technology costs amongst other things. Furthermore, the cases studies developed in focus two of the thesis provides guidelines on how to structure similar tools for cooking energy access and energy for other productive uses. The easily adaptable model is developed in such a way that it might also be used in geo-spatial toolkits, the utility of which is demonstrated in country specific, geographic information system (GIS) based, electrification analyses. These include applications to Nigeria, Ethiopia and India, presented in this dissertation, as well as to the case studies of all 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, developed in subsequent work to this dissertation. The applications of the tool show how the strategy for expanding electricity access may vary significantly both between and within given regions of energy-poor countries. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 50 p.
Series
, TRITA-ESA, 2016:01
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-191300ISBN: 978-91-7729-073-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-191300DiVA: diva2:955892
Public defence
2016-09-19, Sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160829

Available from: 2016-08-30 Created: 2016-08-26 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Global Insights Based on the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Global Insights Based on the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI)
2013 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 5, no 5, 2060-2076 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Energy access metrics are needed to track the progress towards providing sustainable energy for all. This paper presents advancements in the development of the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI), as well as results and analysis for a number of developing countries. The MEPI is a composite index designed to shed light on energy poverty by assessing the services that modern energy provides. The index captures both the incidence and intensity of energy poverty. It provides valuable insights-allowing the analysis of determinants of energy poverty-and, subsequently insights into policy efficacy. Building on previous work, this paper presents results obtained as a result of both increased data availability and enhanced methodology. Specifically, this analysis (i) includes an increased number of countries, and (ii) tracks the evolution of energy poverty over time of energy poverty in selected countries is reported.

Keyword
energy poverty, access to modern energy services, energy policy
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-129641 (URN)10.3390/su5052060 (DOI)000324048800016 ()2-s2.0-84883032961 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20131003

Available from: 2013-10-03 Created: 2013-10-03 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically approved
2. Rural electrification options in the Brazilian Amazon A multi-criteria analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rural electrification options in the Brazilian Amazon A multi-criteria analysis
2014 (English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826, Vol. 20, no 1, 36-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Worldwide, approximately 1.2 billion people still lack access to electricity. Recognized by the Brazilian Government as a citizen's right, access to electricity was extended to almost 15 million people since 2003 as a result of the "Luz Para Todos" (Light for all - LPT) program. However, considerable parts of the Amazon region still lack access to electricity services, largely due to the long distances that need to be covered and to challenging topography. This paper explores electrification using selected renewable sources, both for new installations and for hybridization of existing diesel generators. We present results from a multi-criteria analysis that explores trade-offs associated with electrification options. Techno-economic, environmental, social and institutional criteria and attributes are explored. We find that renewable and hybrid systems present a number of advantages for application in isolated areas of the region.

Keyword
Rural electrification, Multi Criteria Analysis, Brazilian Amazon
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-147027 (URN)10.1016/j.esd.2014.02.005 (DOI)000336197600005 ()2-s2.0-84896537111 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20140624

Available from: 2014-06-24 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically approved
3. Estimating the cost of energy access: The case of the village of Suro Craic in Timor Leste
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estimating the cost of energy access: The case of the village of Suro Craic in Timor Leste
2015 (English)In: Energy, ISSN 0360-5442, E-ISSN 1873-6785, Vol. 79, 385-397 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Energy access targets at national, sub-national, and local levels, are often not specified in great detail - and tend to focus on supply. Another approach to better inform policy and investment might benefit from an indicator that focuses on the services derived from electricity access. To provide support for decision-making, this research investigates the costs of reaching different levels of energy access in rural areas, with a case study of a village in the Ainaro district of Timor Leste. Utilizing the multi-tier definition of energy access proposed in the World Bank's "Global Tracking Framework" for Sustainable Energy for All, we present results both on the cost difference of achieving different tiers of energy access, and on the comparison among selected electrification and cooking options. Results show that in the period 2010-2030 achieving the highest tier of electricity access could be as much as seventy-five times more costly than achieving the lowest one. In addition moving across tiers, least cost solutions shift from stand-alone to mini-grid and finally grid connected options as electricity access increases. Regarding cooking, moving from open fires to some of the more modern solutions has the potential to reduce overall costs over the same period.

Keyword
Energy access, Sustainable Energy For All, Timor Leste, Grid vs off grid electrification, Energy systems analysis, Cooking solutions
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161147 (URN)10.1016/j.energy.2014.11.025 (DOI)000348959000035 ()2-s2.0-84927611677 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20150319

Available from: 2015-03-19 Created: 2015-03-09 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically approved
4. A cost comparison of technology approaches for improving access to electricity services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A cost comparison of technology approaches for improving access to electricity services
Show others...
2016 (English)In: Energy, ISSN 0360-5442, E-ISSN 1873-6785, Vol. 95, 255-265 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The UN's Sustainable Energy For All initiative has made universal access to energy by 2030 a key target. Countries wherein budgets are constrained and institutions stressed are faced with the challenge of further extending energy services and doing so significantly. To meet this goal for the power sector in a cost-effective way, governments have to consider the deployment of a mix of stand-alone, mini-grid and grid-based solutions. To help inform analysis, planning and the decision process, this paper presents a simple, transparent, least-cost model for the electrification of rural areas. The approach builds on four key parameters, namely: (i) target level and quality of energy access, (ii) population density, (iii) local grid connection characteristics and (iv) local energy resources availability and technology cost. From an application perspective, this work can be used both for (1) fast assessments of specific energy access projects, and (2) to inform more complex regional studies using a geo-referencing software to analyze the results. Such applications are presented in the results using country case studies developed for Nigeria and Ethiopia. These show how the strategy for expanding energy access may vary significantly both between and within given regions of energy-poor countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keyword
Energy access, Least cost energy modeling, Power planning, Rural electrification
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-183679 (URN)10.1016/j.energy.2015.11.068 (DOI)000370308100024 ()2-s2.0-84960338829 (ScopusID)
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Note

QC 20160319

Available from: 2016-03-19 Created: 2016-03-18 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically approved

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