System interconnection as a path to bottom up electrification

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Electricity access is a key enabling factor for human development, yet over 1.2 billion people have no connection. Minigrids, grid extension and standalone systems are the standard approaches to electrification, but each have significant limitations, including cost of energy, speed of deployment and lack of flexible upgrade paths. Interconnection of minigrids and Solar Home Systems (SHS) to allow import and export of energy can address many of these issues. Increased diversity can reduce the impacts of variable renewable energy resources and incremental investment over time can facilitate a flexible, bottom up route to universal electrification. This paper discusses the issues surrounding the existing approaches to electrification in developing countries and outlines the opportunities for minigrid interconnection as a method to accelerate electricity access in a sustainable, cost effective and future proof manner.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2017
Event52nd International Universities' Power Engineering Conference - T.E.I. of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Duration: 29 Aug 20171 Sep 2017


Conference52nd International Universities' Power Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleUPEC 2017
CityHeraklion, Crete
Internet address


  • interconnection
  • renewable energy
  • smart grid

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