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Article

Techno-Economic Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Systems: Case Study in Zimbabwe

1
Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
2
Discipline of Engineering and Energy, College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
3
Mechanical Engineering Program, Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus, Guzelyurt via Mersin 10, 99738 Kalkanli, Turkey
4
Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications (GÜNAM), Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
5
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Program, Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus, Guzelyurt via Mersin 10, 99738 Kalkanli, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Inventions 2020, 5(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions5030027
Received: 12 June 2020 / Revised: 30 June 2020 / Accepted: 3 July 2020 / Published: 6 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Technologies for the Energy Systems of the Future)
Fluctuations in fossil fuel prices significantly affect the economies of countries, especially oil-importing countries, hence these countries are thoroughly investigating the increase in the utilization of renewable energy resources as it is abundant and locally available in all the countries despite challenges. Renewable energy systems (RES) such as solar and wind systems offer suitable alternatives for fossil fuels and could ensure the energy security of countries in a feasible way. Zimbabwe is one of the African countries that import a significant portion of its energy needs which endanger the energy security of the country. Several studies in the literature discussed the feasibility of different standalone and hybrid RES either with or without energy storage systems to either maximize the technical feasibility or the economic feasibility; however, none of the studies considered maximizing both feasibilities at the same time. Therefore, we present a techno-economic comparison of standalone wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) in addition to hybrid PV/wind systems based on maximizing the RES fraction with levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) being less than or equal to the local grid tariff where Gwanda, Zimbabwe, is the case study. The methodology suggested in this study could increase the utilization of renewable energy resources feasibly and at the same time increase the energy security of the country by decreasing dependency on imported energy. The results indicate that the PV/wind hybrid system does not only have the best economic benefits represented by the net present value (NPV) and the payback period (PBP), but also the best technical performance; where the maximum feasible size of the hybrid system-2 MW wind and 1 MW PV-has RES fraction of 65.07%, LCOE of 0.1 USD/kWh, PBP of 3.94 years, internal rate of return of 14.04% and NPV of 3.06 × 106 USD. Having similar systems for different cities in Zimbabwe will decrease the energy bill significantly and contribute toward the energy security of the country. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybrid systems; photovoltaic; wind energy; energy economics; RES investments; Zimbabwe; Africa and energy security hybrid systems; photovoltaic; wind energy; energy economics; RES investments; Zimbabwe; Africa and energy security
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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Ghussain, L.; Samu, R.; Taylan, O.; Fahrioglu, M. Techno-Economic Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Systems: Case Study in Zimbabwe. Inventions 2020, 5, 27. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions5030027

AMA Style

Al-Ghussain L, Samu R, Taylan O, Fahrioglu M. Techno-Economic Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Systems: Case Study in Zimbabwe. Inventions. 2020; 5(3):27. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions5030027

Chicago/Turabian Style

Al-Ghussain, Loiy, Remember Samu, Onur Taylan, and Murat Fahrioglu. 2020. "Techno-Economic Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Systems: Case Study in Zimbabwe" Inventions 5, no. 3: 27. https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions5030027

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