OSUG - Terre Univers Environnement

Renewable isolated microgrids (MG) for rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa

Thèse en cours de Nicolas Plain

16 janvier 2018 ( maj : 26 avril 2018 ), par Brice Boudevillain

PhD directors : Benoit Hingray (IGE) et Sandrine Mathy (Grenoble Applied Economics Lab, GAEL)
Supervisors : David Gualino (Schneider Electric, Strategy and Innovation) et Thomas André (Schneider Electric, Sustainable Development)

To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals N°7 - ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 - including in isolated areas and while remaining compatible with the climate targets of COP21, several studies recommend the development of electrical micro grids that are almost autonomous and powered by local production of Variable Renewable Energy.

This is particularly the case in Sub-Saharan Africa where 600 million people do not have access to electricity, mainly in remote rural areas where the development of the main electrical grid is not feasible in the short or medium term.

The International Energy Agency in the 2014 World Energy Outlook predicts that by 2040 in Sub-Saharan Africa 315 million people will obtain access to electricity : 80 million through off-grid systems and 140 million with micro grids.

Our research work, within the framework of this PhD, will study three main axes considering micro grids of hundreds kW not connected to the main grid :
1. Characterization of the seasonality / interannual variability of the solar resource with diffuse / direct solar differentiation to evaluate the multi-scale regularity of the resource, its reliability and the quality of service that can be offered.

2. Evaluate and characterize the different types of consumption desired / possible (consumption linked to a non-flexible pre-established demand, a flexible demand and erasable demand)
• Identify traditional domestic and productive uses and associated load curves
• Classify these different uses to prioritize reports and / or erasures according to the expected quality of service
• Define typical scenarios for daily load curves for non-flexible demand and flexible / erasable demand scenarios (and if necessary, appropriate representation).

3. Characterization of some typical micro grids configurations which, for each load curve scenario, optimize the profitability and the quality of service for the different types of consumption with the means of production, storage and back-up (considering prioritization of different uses and, if possible, an appropriate pricing system)