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Energies 2018, 11(2), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11020432

Challenges of Microgrids in Remote Communities: A STEEP Model Application

1
Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 3200003, Israel
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Elizade University, P. M. B 002 Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, Nigeria
3
Department of Computer Systems, Tallinn University of Technology, Akadeemia tee 15a, 12618 Tallinn, Estonia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract

There is a growing interest in the application of microgrids around the world because of their potential for achieving a flexible, reliable, efficient and smart electrical grid system and supplying energy to off-grid communities, including their economic benefits. Several research studies have examined the application issues of microgrids. However, a lack of in-depth considerations for the enabling planning conditions has been identified as a major reason why microgrids fail in several off-grid communities. This development requires research efforts that consider better strategies and framework for sustainable microgrids in remote communities. This paper first presents a comprehensive review of microgrid technologies and their applications. It then proposes the STEEP model to examine critically the failure factors based on the social, technical, economic, environmental and policy (STEEP) perspectives. The model details the key dimensions and actions necessary for addressing the challenge of microgrid failure in remote communities. The study uses remote communities within Nigeria, West Africa, as case studies and demonstrates the need for the STEEP approach for better understanding of microgrid planning and development. Better insights into microgrid systems are expected to address the drawbacks and improve the situation that can lead to widespread and sustainable applications in off-grid communities around the world in the future. The paper introduces the sustainable planning framework (SPF) based on the STEEP model, which can form a general basis for planning microgrids in any remote location. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy planning; energy demand; renewable energy; microgrid; systems failure; sustainability energy planning; energy demand; renewable energy; microgrid; systems failure; sustainability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Akinyele, D.; Belikov, J.; Levron, Y. Challenges of Microgrids in Remote Communities: A STEEP Model Application. Energies 2018, 11, 432.

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