Enhanced techniques to plan rural electrical networks using the Reference Electrification Model
Technology and Policy Program.
Jose Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga and Claudio Vergara.
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Although there have recently been many significant digital and technical advances in the electric power industry, rural electrification remains a pressing issue in the developing countries around the world. The International Energy Agency estimates that there are 1.2 billion people globally who lack access to electricity. Planning electrical networks to provide energy access to these primarily rural consumers is complicated by the lack of accurate data by electric utilities in these areas and the increased prevalence of microgrids and low-cost individual energy systems which challenges the traditional definition of energy services. Advanced computational planning tools can allow planners and policymakers to take resource constraints, environmental considerations, interactions between off-grid and traditional grid extension projects, and many other factors into account when designing rural electrification policies and plans. The goal of this thesis is to contribute to the development and application of the Reference Electrification Model (REM), a decision support tool which can help planners design optimal electrical networks for rural electrification purposes. In this thesis, I develop the functionalities of REM through several case studies. I also address the topics of estimating the electrification status of buildings and calculating the cost of upstream network reinforcements due to new load additions in the system. This research emphasizes the need for computational tools like REM to develop both feasible network designs as well as viable energy policies and regulations in order to advance efforts related to rural electrification and energy access around the world.
Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Technology and Policy Program, 2017.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 101-104).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society., Engineering Systems Division., Technology and Policy Program.