- Some energy users are connected to unreliable utility grids and in order to support their electricity needs they have historically utilised their own conventional power generation units. These facilities could be Coal, Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), Diesel, or Gas powered engines or turbines connected to electrical generators and/or heating systems;
- Unconnected users have had no choice historically and had to rely on their own conventional power generation units;
- The cost of carbon based fuels would be based on the particular location and any logistical constraints to obtain them economically and reliably. There is a different carbon footprint for each type of conventional fuel. As part of the Energy Transition, some users will have (or plan to have) some combination of energy sources in their Energy Mix that includes Renewables.
Some Solutions from Stellae Energy
- Distributed Energy Solutions with Renewables can include Solar PV, Wind, and Geothermal Energy in facilities close to the user;
- Hybrid solutions combined with existing conventional power generation are being adopted by many energy users. The choice of these energy sources would typically be based on their availability and suitability for a particular location;
- Energy Storage Systems are essential to provide stability and resilience. Short duration (i.e. Li-on or LiFePo) as well as long duration ESS (i.e. Redox Flow and Hydrogen) systems are needed;
- Hybrid Microgrids (either unconnected or connected to a utility grid) using multiple sources of energy including Renewables are one of the best solutions to provide both the reliability and sustainability needed;
- Stand-alone Power Systems (SPS) are another good scalable solution, particularly for remote residential, commercial, or smaller industrial users. These modular steel containerised units provide conventional diesel power generators for back-up electricity, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), inverters, and switchgear. Externally there would interconnected Solar PV and or Wind Turbines to provide the main energy source. They would reduce carbon footprints and improve resilience for many remote users.
How We Can Improve Electricity Access Together?
Energy poverty is the largest limiting factor to economic growth in the world. Around 4 billion people lack enough electricity to enjoy a life with better living standards and economic opportunities. Poor electrical access is present in both the developing and underdeveloped world:
- IEA reports that Sub-Saharan Africa currently has the lowest electrification access rate in the world – ~50% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population do not have access to electricity – and even this “access” is significantly below world averages. The population of Africa will double in the coming decades and they will need better, cleaner energy sources;
- Remote Indigenous and Extractive Industry communities in Canada and Australia rely on Diesel power generation with very expensive fuel transportation and storage costs combined with significant GHG emissions;
- Remote island communities in Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia similarly rely on Diesel power generation with similar cost and emission challenges;
- Many other Remote and Extractive Industry communities across South America, Middle East, and Asia have shortages of power or unreliable power with Conventional Power Generation with high costs and emissions.
According to some estimates, ~3 billion humans rely on biomass like wood, dung, and charcoal for cooking and heating. Fuels like this have significant public health implications including increased infant mortality and respiratory challenges for elderly people.
Access to electricity is particularly crucial to human development as electricity is indispensable for certain basic activities, such as lighting, refrigeration/cooling, and communications, and cannot easily be replaced by other forms of energy. Use of energy is important in improving people’s standard of living including access to clean water and improved sanitation. As parts of the world are taking advantage of the Internet and Digital technologies and tools, many of these other communities need electricity to access the same benefits for education, business, and commerce.