Water-Energy-Food integrated business models for decentralized renewable energy solutions: the case of agrophotovoltaics in Koutiala-Mali, SSA region
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In Africa, access to clean energy, water, and food security is a major problem, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and even lower or inexistent in remote regions not connected to the electricity grid. The problem of water resources is essential and even vital for the populations in the Sahel zone particularly in Mali. In some regions of the country, conflicts between various uses of water, appear because of the fall of water tables, the early drying up of water bodies and the shrinking of productive spaces. Water supply and sanitation in Mali faces significant challenges. Poor water quality leads to potentially lethal diseases. In 2018, the Ministry of Energy and Water reported access rates to drinking water of 65.3% in rural areas, 74.7% in urban areas, and 68% at national widely. The low share and the underdevelopment of Water-Energy-Food for renewable mini-grids to ensure electricity and water accessibility for economic development in Africa especially in Mali are in-existent. Water-Energy-Food nexus can be employing at high level of efficiency in the development in Mali. In Koutiala, Water-Energy-Food integrated in business models is inexistent yet or the agrivoltaics systems are the best solutions for decentralized energy for water demand, provide the agricultural activities for food security and economic development without polluting the environment. Agriculture has become one of the reasonable economic sector in Mali, being the source of income through cash-crops and food-crops cultivation and Koutiala region is the big producer of cotton and other food crops. The sector is facing a number of difficulties due to lack of electricity, water mostly and it rains seasonally, in rural areas as well as lack of environmental and economical friendly technologies for electricity production, water pumping from the surface or underground water source to the farms for irrigation, in some cases small farmers are most vulnerable due to the rise of diesel prices to run the generator for irrigation. The system composed of 92.7 kW of solar PV array, 75kW of inverter is designed with PVsyst software to provide electricity, water in Koutiala region. The economic analysis of the two types of business models allowed us to identify the most profitable business model to adopt in the region. The different analyzes gave us the following results: the same LCOE equal €0.09/kWh, Present net Value (NPV business model 2) €131,073 is higher than the net present value (NPV business 1) €74,732, Internal Return Rate (IRR business model 2) 14% is higher than (IRR business model 1) 10%, the Payback Period (business model 1) 18 years is higher than the Payback Period (business model 2) 14 years. Since the NPV are positives and the IRR are higher than the real discount rate (i,) so both of our business models are attractive and profitable but the business model 2 is economically more profitable.