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Advances in Energy Hybridization for Resilient Supply: A Sustainable Approach to the Growing World Demand...

by Prashant S Nagapurkar
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Energy poverty, defined as a lack of access to reliable electricity and reliance on traditional biomass resources for cooking, affects over a billion people daily. The World Health Organization estimates that household air pollution from inefficient stoves causes more premature deaths than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Increasing demand for energy has led to dramatic increases in emissions. The need for reliable electricity and limiting emissions drives research on Resilient Hybrid Energy Systems (RHESs), which provide cleaner energy through combining wind, solar, and biomass energy with traditional fossil energy, increasing production efficiency and reliability and reducing generating costs and emissions. Microgrids have been shown as an efficient means of implementing RHESs, with some focused mainly on reducing the environmental impact of electric power generation. The technical challenges of designing, implementing, and applying microgrids involve conducting a cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to evaluate these systems’ environmental and economic performance under diverse operating conditions to evaluate resiliency. A sample RHES was developed and used to demonstrate the implementation in rural applications, where the system can provide reliable electricity for heating, cooling, lighting, and pumping clean water. The model and findings can be utilized by other regions around the globe facing similar challenges.