Hybrid Micro-systems for Rural Areas

The shortage of energy resources and inefficient technologies are among the reasons for the energy crisis in many rural areas in developing countries. It is important to develop renewable energy technologies that are cost-effective, efficient, and decentralized to improve the energy situation in rural areas. Given that the majority of the populations in rural areas are impoverished, it is incumbent upon the research community to propose technologies that not only meet their energy needs but also must be acceptable to their sociocultural and economic situation. It is also necessary for the technologies to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Thus, hybrid renewable energy systems are an excellent choice. These systems combine the output of different renewable energy resources, contain energy generators and energy storage systems. They can also be utilized in grid-connected mode, isolated from the grid or for other purposes. The designed system must be made depending on the resources available for the selected rural areas such as micro-dam reservoirs in areas with water bodies, wind turbine generators for areas with high wind speed, solar panels for areas with high irradiation. Moreover, the system must be designed to accommodate the rigid environment of these areas and protected from the surrounding atmosphere.

The challenge: A hybrid renewable energy micro-system that is technically efficient, cost-effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable for long term use for a particular area or areas in the Middle East.