Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
E&S-2: Considering technology in energy decisions in the developing world
Tuesday, 25/Jun/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Nathan Williams
Session Chair: Paulina Jaramillo
Location: Hawthorne/Sellwood

4:00pm - 4:20pm

Evaluating Electricity Generation Expansion Planning in Ghana

Sika Gadzanku1,2, Karen Tapia-Ahumada2, Jennifer Morris1

1Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2MIT Energy Initiative

Ghana, a West African nation of 28 million people, provides an interesting case study on the interaction between power supply and politics in emerging economies. From 2012-2016, due to security of supply issues around hydro and fuel supplies, Ghana experienced the worst power crisis in its history with regular rolling blackouts. Rural and low-income urban areas and businesses were especially affected, and public discontent was palpable. The government’s response was a reactive approach to generation expansion planning, focused on increasing supply. Power generation was opened up to the private sector and emergency power plants were procured. 93 percent of capacity installed during this post-crisis period was thermal generation, which increased dependence on natural gas and crude oil. Overall, this power crisis highlighted the cost of overlooking reliability and an undiversified generation mix.

I adapted a modeling framework to study Ghana’s power generation system and I use a bottom-up capacity expansion and economic dispatch model to explore capacity expansion pathways in Ghana under different settings, with the goal of providing insight into Ghana’s capacity expansion decisions and identifying strategies that can help ensure better reliability and resiliency. Secondly, I use qualitative methods to evaluate Ghana’s electricity infrastructure project financing framework to discuss how project financing shapes technology choices. I then explore potential policy and legal instruments that could support more robust systems planning in Ghana’s electricity generation sector. Results reveal that a future power crisis is very likely given the high sensitivity of system reliability and resilience to natural gas and crude oil supply, global energy prices and transmission constraints. Strategies that could help avoid a future crisis include diversifying the generation mix, adding flexible generation (such as pumped hydro) to the mix, increasing transmission, and increasing the stability of fuel supply.

4:20pm - 4:40pm

Techno-Economic Analysis of Integrating Solar-Rooftop and Battery-Based Electric Systems in Nigerian Households for Improved Household Electricity Service


Carnegie Mellon University, United States of America

Over half the population of Nigeria is connected to the electric grid. For this connected population, grid service is poor and characterized by frequent outages of unpredictable duration. Households rely on fossil fuel-based generators to cater to their unmet load, which could ultimately reduce the economic and environmental benefits of grid connection. In this paper, we perform a techno-economic analysis of the deployment of solar PV and battery storage systems for typical residential consumers in Lagos, Nigeria. Our model incorporates grid availability and household reliability needs to evaluate the economic viability of hybrid home energy systems in Nigeria. To account for grid availability, we developed a probabilistic model that simulates a time series of power outages throughout the model horizon. To account for reliability needs, we perform a parametric analysis for the number of hours and the times of the day that households require electricity. We compare all the proposed electric systems to the business as usual option (grid plus diesel backup) using net present costs (NPC), and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). Expectedly, our results suggest that integrating these hybrid systems, compared to the business as usual option, lead to reductions in diesel consumption across all levels of reliability needs and grid availability levels, as well as higher grid consumption due to additional grid demand for battery charging.

We find that changes in household electricity consumptions as a result of integrating these systems do not universally justify investments in these electric systems when all the scenarios considered. First, integrating these hybrid systems is economically favorable compared to the business as usual case in households with higher diesel expenditure which could be driven by higher reliability needs, and(or) low grid service. Amongst the hybrid systems, we find that solar based systems in these scenarios perform better economically compared to the battery-based option, particularly in households with low grid service. Whereas the solar-based system has the additional solar resource to meet load as well as provide electricity for battery charging, the battery-based systems rely solely on the grid for battery charging. Since an unreliable grid can also limit charging the batteries, households with the battery-only systems revert to the backup generators to meet their household needs.

Not surprisingly, for households with low diesel expenditure in the BAU scenario, our results suggest that investing in residential solar PV and battery systems is uneconomical. Higher grid service for these households in the BAU scenario limits the need for diesel consumption, since improved grid services provide for greater proportions of household load. Alternatively for households with low reliability needs (minimum of 4 hours daily), the savings in diesel expenditure enabled by the residential solar PV and battery do not offset the high upfront costs of such residential systems.

4:40pm - 5:00pm

Exploratory assessment of local solar PV energy preferences in the Santiago Metropolitan Region

Amanda Doris Farthing1,2, Fabián Fuentes González2,3, Enzo Sauma Santis2,5, Adriaan Hendrik van der Weijde3,4

1U.S. Student Fulbright Program; 2UC Energy Research Center, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; 3Institute for Energy Systems, School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; 4The Alan Turing Institute, London, UK; 5Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

The ways in which we source, finance, and provide energy services has a tremendous impact on sustainable and inclusive development. At a national scale, Chile is in the midst of a rapid technological transition to more environmentally-sustainable energy generation sources, with a particular emphasis on solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. However, the degree to which this macro-scale transition will be socially sustainable and inclusive on the micro scale remains to be seen. Who will benefit from new jobs and revenue streams created by this massive growth in the solar industry? Will everyone who wishes to have access to solar power be able to do so? In recent years, “community solar” has emerged as an alternative business model to utility-scale solar and residential systems, offering promise for more inclusive solar development. In the community solar model, individuals can finance or rent portions of a solar panel array—in some cases playing an active role in project management—and receive compensation for the generated clean electricity. The community solar approach reduces costs through economies of scale and expands solar energy access to portions of the population who are unable to purchase solar panels of their own due to physical, financial, or time constraints. As such, community solar has potential to provide voice and agency to local communities to secure their desired energy future, as well as economic and educational opportunities stemming from project development. However, this evolving business model is inherently contingent upon community buy-in and, hence, social and attitudinal factors that are not well-understood in their relation to local, shared solar initiatives. Our research uses an online survey (distributed August-October 2018, with 99 valid responses) to identify prevalent perceptions, barriers, and opportunities related to local solar PV projects in the Santiago Metropolitan Region of Chile. Using a conjoint analysis approach, we analyze survey results to explore heterogeneity in willingness to pay for energy from a local solar project and willingness to devote time to community-led solar developments. Results can provide a better understanding of who is and is not interested in local solar energy options, and why, thus facilitating project design and siting, public policies, and outreach strategies that align with consumer preferences and enable inclusive solar developments.

5:00pm - 5:20pm

Health Impact Assessment of Coal Fired Power Plants in Luzon Using Life Cycle Assessment

Marvin Tolentino Laguerta, Mili-Ann Tamayao

University of the Philippines - Diliman, Philippines

In the Philippines, coal comprises 32.2% of the country’s

installed capacity and the department of energy forecasted that by

2040 it can grow as much as 42%. Coal combustion in power plants

produces air emissions, such as carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen,

particulate matter (>2.5 microns in diameter) (PM 2.5 ) and oxides of

sulfur that negatively affect human health. It is important to consider

the balance between meeting energy demand and effect on human


The study estimated the health impact from coal power plants in

Luzon since about 75% of the coal based generation capacity in the

Philippines is located in Luzon. Two existing coal generation

technologies were considered. Subcritical pulverized coal (SCPC)

was considered since it comprise almost 65% of the total dependable

capacity of coal and circulating fluidized bed (CFB) was considered

since it is viewed as a cleaner coal technology compared to the prior

and the generating capacity of CFB continues to grow as majority of

the new coal power plants commissioned in the Philippines is CFB.

Coal source was also considered in the study since the Philippines is

promoting local coal use for energy generation through the use of

some incentives.

The goal of the study is to analyze and compare the health impacts of

the existing generation technologies in the Philippines – SCPC and

CFB. It also aims to inform the public and decision makers regarding

the health impact caused by electricity generation technology,

specifically coal, for them to make more informed decision for

making or revising existing policies. Stratified sampling method was

used to determine which power plants should be included in the

study. Power plant specifications were gathered from DOE and

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). From the power plant

specifications the coal consumption for each coal power plants were

obtained. Life cycle inventory was estimated based on the coal

consumption of the power plants and the existing life cycle data or

emission factors for each of the life cycle stages considered - mining,

transportation and energy conversion.

SCPC and CFB were estimated to have an average health impact of

1.82 x 10 -6 DALY/kWh and 2.45 x 10 -6 DALY/kWh, respectively.

This translates to a combined impact of about 58,282 DALY per year

of operation of all coal power plants in Luzon. Contrary to results

from previous works, DALY estimates from this study indicate that

CFB imposes higher health impacts than SCPC. CFB has a higher

impact than SCPC, mainly due to the higher emissions of PM 2.5 . The

health impact of CFB would significantly be reduced by using

emission control technology. But given that SCPC would also use

emission control technology, CFB would still have a higher health

impact than SCPC. The heat rate of existing CFB in the Philippines is

significantly lower than the average in the literature, this resulted to a

much higher estimates for the health impact, while the heat rate of

existing SCPC in the Philippines is higher than the average in

literatures giving it a lower estimates for health impacts.