The use of a single criterion in the selection of the most suitable hybrid renewable energy system (HRES) has been reported to be inadequate in terms of sustainability. In order to fill this gap, this study presents a multi-criteria approach for the selection of HRES for a typical low-income household. The analysis is based on two energy demand scenarios viz: consumer demand based on energy efficient equipment (EET) and consumer energy demand without energy efficiency. The optimization of the HRES is performed using hybrid optimization of multiple energy renewables (HOMER) while the multi-criteria analysis is carried out using Criteria Importance Through Intercriteria Correlation (CRITIC) and the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). Results show that the optimal HRES alternative returned based on both energy demand scenarios is a PV/GEN/BAT system. The analysis further shows that a reduction of 44.6% in energy demand through EET leads to: 51.38% decrease in total net present cost, 11.90% decrease in cost of energy, 96.61% decrease in
emission and 193.94% increase in renewable fraction. Furthermore, the use of multi-criteria approach for HRES selection has an influence in the selection and ranking of the most suitable HRES alternatives. Overall, the application of EETs is environmentally and economically beneficial while the application of MCDM can help decision makers make a comprehensively informed decision on the selection of the most suitable HRES.
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