Multicriteria analysis of renewable-based electrification projects in developing countries
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The design of wind-photovoltaic stand-alone electrification projects that combine individual systems and microgrids is complex and requires from support tools. In this paper, a multicriteria procedure is presented in detail, which aims to assist project developers in such a design. More specifically, the procedure has been developed under a four-part structure, using support tools and expert consultations to enhance practicality into the rural context of developing countries. First, from a large amount of criteria, a reduced and easy to handle set is chosen, representing the main characteristics to be assessed in rural electrification projects. Second, two iterative processes, one based on the Analytical Hierarchy Process and one based on a typical 1–10 assessment, are tested to assign weights to the criteria, reflecting end-user preferences. Third, some indicators are proposed to evaluate the accomplishment of each solution regarding each criterion, in an objective manner. Fourth, considering the weights and evaluations, the solutions are ranked, using the compromise programming technique, thus selecting the best one/s. The whole procedure is illustrated by designing the electrification project of a real community in the Andean highlands. In short, this paper provides insights about the suitable decision-making process for the design of wind-PV electrification systems and, in addition, shows how different multicriteria techniques are applied to a very local context in rural, remote and very poor areas of developing countries.
KeywordsRural electrification Microgrids Multicriteria Compromise programming
The authors are very grateful to the NGOs Practical Action – Intermediate Technology Development Group (Peru), Engineering Without Borders (Spain) and Green Empowerment (USA) for all the support and assistance given during the development of this research. This research was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (project ENE 2015–67253-R) and the Centre for Cooperation Development (CCD) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona TECH (UPC).
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