Village-scale clean energy microgrids have the possible to run outlying development by bringing electricity to over 1.2 billion individuals who presently lack access. Past efforts to electrify rural communities have been plagued by energy theft, unaffordable connection costs, intermittent supply, and poor maintenance.
The Rural Electric Power venture (REPP) seeks to address these problems by integrating brand-new technology including even more lasting financing and distribution components – including pay-as-you-go energy methods – to raised serve the outlying poor.
Demonstrating the DIL Approach
In addition to the technologies which can be operating the task, the REPP is making use of novel information collection and evaluation resources from development economics. These data will inform the redesign and refinement of the technology and rigorously measure impacts in the field. Scientists from the tech and Infrastructure for growing Regions (LEVEL) team, the middle for Effective worldwide Action (CEGA), in addition to Energy Institute during the UC Berkeley Haas class of company are working with municipality and industry partners to create real time user data (using “smart” yards) and collect comprehensive family review information before and after microgrid deployment. This interdisciplinary strategy will allow the REPP to track household interest in energy while documenting the effects of rural electrification on a variety of relevant personal and economic results.
In Kenya, REPP is partnering aided by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to distribute nationwide grid connection subsidies of differing amounts to randomly selected unconnected households in rural areas of west Kenya; the results should be always measure the interest in and effects of outlying electrification. The group has also began developing and piloting an endline survey tool which will target 4, 000 families in 2016.
In India, REPP is partnering with Gram energy (GP), a Berkeley-based smart meter and solar microgrid provider, to analyze whether energy-efficient devices and real time energy usage data (supplied by GP’s smart meters) foster improvements in household-level consumption efficiency. The group is using a collection of homes which are newly linked to solar microgrids alongside families that were currently attached to the central grid. The investigation group normally working closely with Gram capacity to develop a dashboard to monitor the inbound meter data from ~350 families connected to GP’s microgrids in Rajasthan. They have made use of this data to perform initial theft and dependability evaluation. The project team normally in the process of assembling a study regarding the financial and working viability of microgrids.
Additionally, in India, Gram Power has also been effective in acquiring permissions from an exclusive utility in Bihar & Muzaffarpur, ESSEL, to install wise meters in ~5000 families connected to the grid. The investigation team will therefore be integrating with both Gram energy and ESSEL by surveying a subset among these grid connected households to better understand the impact of following wise yards, both on the demand and supply side as well as the drivers and patterns of (i) non-technical losses (ii) consumption need, (iii) reliability.
Related Press and Publications
- Electrification Causes Economic Development, Right? Maybe Not (, Spring 2016)
- Despite $7 billion to ‘Power Africa, ’ why the continent is still at night (Reuters, July 2015)