At what point should deploying mini-grids be your option?

This article was written by Abigail Jibril

At what point should deploying mini-grids be your option?

Currently, the world is trying to work towards improving energy access and achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 7. Innovative solutions such as renewable energy mini-grids and solar home systems have come up as more sustainable options to achieving improved energy access as opposed to elongating the traditional electric grid.

ALSO READ: What does Universal Energy Access Need?

Would mini-grids always be the cost-effective solution? Absolutely not. Here is why:

In densely populated areas that have proximity to the national grid, it is more cost-effective to extend the national grid to those areas instead of deploying mini-grids. In areas where the homes are located about 200 metres reaching up to 500 metres apart from each other and they require between Tier 1 and 2 level of energy access, it may be more cost effective to deploy solar home systems.

But, if there are clusters of houses, located away from the national grid, that have the willingness to pay and require energy access for refrigeration and other productive uses (Tier 2 level of electricity access and above), a mini-grid should be considered if it is well-suited for the business model of the developer.

Have you read?

What does Universal Energy Access Need?
Improving Energy Access through Renewable Energy: The way Forward
Energy Access: A tool for poverty alleviation in rural communities

In Nigeria, renewable energy sources are not ready to take over the main power generation of the nation, but they can help bring electricity to people in the most remote areas.

In conclusion, before deciding that deploying a mini-grid will be the most cost-effective option for an area, consider the projected load profile of the community, your business model, location, the cost, the regulations and more.

Leave a Reply