I investigate the design and optimal operation of renewable-powered minigrids in rural and peri-urban Africa by means of joint chance constraints and multi-stage recourse programming. For this we are building a novel open source model and tool for grid-connected mini-grids taking into consideration uncertainty in solar power, productive and household load and main grid’s outages.
An open-source stochastic model for decentralized energy generation will allow for different ownership models including community-owned projects as well as knowledge transfer from industrialized countries to the Global South. In this way we can increase transparency in scientific electrification implementation and operation and reduce barriers of entry to African domestic companies.In this task we also generate independent research on policy and economic frameworks in which decentralized power technology is embedded in the Global South. For instance, what percentage and type of subsidy is needed for mini-grids to be reliable and long-lasting technology in rural spaces?
Installing renewable energies in poor regions does not necessarily entail a sustainable solution, but how projects are implemented, the size, scope, ownership, community governance and the non-perpetuation of asymmetries across the rural and urban geographies have to be analyzed.