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Renewable technologies for rural electrification in Colombia: a multiple objective approach

Diego Silva Herran (Department of Management Science and Technology, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan)
Toshihiko Nakata (Department of Management Science and Technology, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 11 April 2008

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present preliminary results from an integrated evaluation of electricity supply systems for rural areas using renewable energy technologies by means of a multi‐objective decision making method

Design/methodology/approach

Goal programming is applied to obtain the optimal system configuration meeting the electricity demand, based on the location's resource availability and taking diesel generation as the alternative of reference. The performance of the system is evaluated through four attributes: electricity generation costs, employment and two environmental impacts (CO2 emissions and land use). The model is designed for isolated rural area belonging to the non‐interconnected zones of Colombia.

Findings

Application of the method showed that biomass conversion technology has the highest potential and that renewable energy systems offer better performance than diesel generation. Reductions of more than 10 percent in unit electricity costs, land use rates and CO2 emissions can be achieved.

Research limitations/implications

Inclusion of additional attributes and sensitivity analysis are matters of future research.

Originality/value

The methodology used in this study is an alternative means to perform evaluation of electricity supply systems integrating several aspects of technology and which is flexible enough so as to enable the inclusion of a wider scope of interests towards energy access targets.

Keywords

Citation

Silva Herran, D. and Nakata, T. (2008), "Renewable technologies for rural electrification in Colombia: a multiple objective approach", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 139-154. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506220810859132

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited