Feasibility Study of Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems Mini-Grids for Rural Communities in Mali: Case Study Sokolo
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Despite the efforts made so far in developing countries, access to energy and electricity remain a challenge especially in Mali, particularly in remote rural areas. Mali is endowed with good renewable energy potential, such as hydropower, solar energy, wind energy, and biomass from agricultural residue. In this study various options of hybrid (renewable) energy system using the available renewable energy resources for electricity are designed from rural electrification perspective. This study assesses the feasibilities of hybrid renewable power systems for the Sokolo community in Mali. The Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewable (HOMER) software was used to run the technical and economic analyses. The feasible system design for the village of Sokolo’s load (biogas generator/ solar PV modules / storages batteries /converter) was found to compose of 100 kW of solar PV array, 150 kW biogas generator, 109,060 Ah batteries and 30 kW of converter/inverter to meet a total load of 610 kWh/day and a peak load 136.71 kW .The hybrid renewable energy power system has levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of US$ 0.279 /kWh, a net present cost (NPC) of US$ 804,174, a CO2 emission of 490 kg/yr, a simple payback time of 8 years and a renewable energy fraction of 100%. The selected system was compared to the scenario used by AMADER (Malian agency for domestic energy and rural electrification) of diesel generator/ solar PV modules/ storage batteries/converter which has a lower LCOE and NPC for supplying the same load at US$ 0.323 /kW and US$ 930,883.3 respectively. In addition sensitivity analysis is performed to consider uncertainty in variables: biomass price, PV equipment (modules, batteries, converter, and inverters) and biogas generator price multiplier on the NPC and the LCOE of the selected system.