Techno-ecomic Analysis of a Hybrid Power System for Rural Electrification in Niger: Case of Ngonga Zarma Village .
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Energy is significant in fuelling sustainable development for all by 2030, as is the current global agenda. Renewable energy sources (biomass, solar hydro and others) are defining the energy transition of the world today from the conventional sources (coal, oil, natural gas and others) to meet the climate goals as set in Paris Agreement. Niger is among the energy poor countries in the world today with most of the population in the rural areas having no access to electricity from the grid. The lack of electricity has greatly crippled the economic and social development of the villages. However, Niger is endowed with solar resource throughout the year which can be used to supply electricity to isolated communities in rural areas and can be coupled with the other available resources in the country using hybrid renewable energy systems. The study analyses the techno-economic feasibility of a hybrid system for electrification of rural communities in Niger with Ngonga Zarma village as a case study. The load demand of the community was 129.74 kWh for a community of 400 households. The micro-grid analysis tool homer pro was used to design and simulate the power system under two scenarios of grid and off grid connection. The grid connection scenario was found to be the possible way to electrify the community with a system configuration of 35kW Solar PV, 30 kW diesel genset and 16 batteries connected to the national grid of Niger. The system had a renewable energy fraction of 62.4% solar from a total electrical energy output of 93,865kWh/yr. The system had a net present cost of $221,153 with a Levelised cost of energy of 0.137$/kWh if sales to the grid are enabled. An increase of 18.3% is experienced when the sales to the grid are disabled from the system resulting in an increase of 113% in the LCOE of the system. The study further found that a solar PV-diesel hybrid system is the optimal system for powering villages in Niger but was particularly not feasible for Ngonga Zarma. The break-even grid extension distance being shorter than the recommended value. A sensitivity analysis revealed that a for a more reliable system, the electricity price increases and so does the optimal system change to the hybrid system of solar PV, diesel, battery with a grid connection. Increasing the maximum capacity shortage reduces the Levelised cost of the system by 10.23%. A further study should be done to consider the use of an electric system at Ngonga Zarma to electrify the surrounding villages and also irrigation