Hybrid photovoltaic and wind mini-grids in Kenya: Techno-economic assessment and barriers to diffusion

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Abstrakt

Mini-grids have been widely developed for rural electrification purposes in Kenya, predominantly as systems combining photovoltaic modules (PV), a diesel generator, and battery capacity. (Small) wind turbines have been largely neglected in such setups and are basically non-existent in Kenyan mini-grids despite potential complementarity with PV due to different temporal production profiles of PV and wind power.

This study investigates why small wind turbines have largely been omitted from Kenyan mini-grids from both a techno-economic and diffusion theoretical perspective. A techno-economic model is used for backtesting the feasibility of a hybrid PV/wind system, and building upon theories of innovation and diffusion of technology a conceptual framework is developed and applied for assessing the state of the Kenyan mini-grid sector and categorizing identified barriers accordingly.

The article thus suggest an interdisciplinary approach to investigating the potential role of small wind power in energy systems transitioning towards renewables.

The techno-economic modelling shows that PV/wind hybrids have both technical and economic potential at average wind speeds above 4.5 m/s but little relevance below. Comprehensive barriers within the technical, economic and systemic spheres are encountered by established stakeholders of the Kenyan mini-grid sector, severely hindering diffusion of hybrid PV/wind solutions.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEnergy for Sustainable Development
Vol/bind54
Sider (fra-til)111-126
Antal sider16
ISSN0973-0826
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2020

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