The healthy growth of economy lies on the balance between rural and urban development. While urban India has grown rapidly, rural infrastructure has been largely neglected until recently. Unreliable electricity supply is a major hurdle and has been identified by business owners as the second-most important obstacle to business development in India. The solutions proposed so far in the literature promote renewable energy microgrids and storage to improve the reliability of supply locally. Since the rural regions do not have the technical man-power to operate and manage a microgrid, this approach may not be effective in practice. The solution must be simple, affordable and tailored to the local needs. This article focuses on finding the optimum solution to improve the reliability of electrical supply for a small business/industry connected to a rural grid. The average cost of electricity has been calculated when 1) diesel generator, 2) battery, and 3) the most cost effective combination of solar PV panels and batteries, are used to improve reliability. Different grid reliability levels and different sell-back prices for the excess solar electricity have been used for the simulations. It was found that, even including installation cost, the combination of solar PV panels and battery is much cheaper than the commonly used diesel generator or the battery back-up. Affordable, reliable electricity will be a critical enabler for the development of rural areas.
Fabien Chidanand Robert and Gopalan, S., “Environmental friendly and cost effective approach to provide highly reliable electric supply to rural business and industries”, in 2017 International Conference on Technological Advancements in Power and Energy ( TAP Energy), 2017.