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Techno-Economic Analysis of Solar PV Electricity Supply to Rural Areas of Balochistan, Pakistan

Syed Ahsan Ali Shah (), Gordhan Das Valasai (), Asif Ali Memon (), Abdul Nasir Laghari (), Nabi Bux Jalbani () and Jody L. Strait ()
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Syed Ahsan Ali Shah: College of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 29 Jiangsu Avenue, Nanjing 211106, China
Gordhan Das Valasai: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology, Nawabshah 67480, Pakistan
Asif Ali Memon: Department of Energy and Environment Engineering, Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology, Nawabshah 67480, Pakistan
Abdul Nasir Laghari: Department of Energy and Environment Engineering, Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology, Nawabshah 67480, Pakistan
Nabi Bux Jalbani: Department of Chemical Engineering, Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology, Nawabshah 67480, Pakistan
Jody L. Strait: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Energies, 2018, vol. 11, issue 7, 1-19

Abstract: Rural electrification is a fundamental step towards achieving universal access to electricity by 2030. On-grid rural electrification remains a costly proposition, therefore the need to consider off-grid renewable energy solutions is inevitable. However, the critical issue pertaining to local power generation through renewable energy is the absence of area-specific production capacity and economic viability data for the different renewable energy technologies. This paper addresses this issue for Pakistan’s Balochistan province by assessing the area’s potential and economic feasibility of using solar PV for rural electrification. The results suggest that the Balochistan province has the best solar irradiance value in the world. Furthermore, optimal tilt angles calculated for respective regions can significantly increase solar energy yield. The economic feasibility study, carried out for solar PV systems, reveals that the electricity generated using solar PV costs Rs. 7.98 per kWh and is considerably cheaper than conventional electricity, which costs approximately Rs. 20.79 per kWh. Similarly, solar PV systems could mitigate 126,000 metric tons of CO 2 annually if 100% of the unelectrified households adopted solar PV systems. Based on these research findings, this paper proposes a policy that would serve as a guideline for the government to extend solar PV-based off-grid rural electrification projects in Balochistan as well as on a national scale.

Keywords: rural electrification; solar PV; economic feasibility; CO 2 mitigation; Balochistan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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