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Power interruptions are a typical characteristic of national grids in developing countries.Manufacturing, processing, refrigeration and other facilities that require a dependablesupply of power, and might be considered a small grid within the larger national grid,employ diesel generators for backup. In this study, we develop a stochastic simulationmodel of a very small grid connected to an unreliable national grid to show that theintroduction of wind generated power can, despite its intermittency, reduce costssignificantly. For a small grid with a peak load of 2.85 MW and diesel generatingcapacity of 3.75 MW provided by two diesel generators, the savings from using windenergy (based on wind data for Mekelle, Ethiopia) can amount to over a million dollarsper month. While the savings from deployment of wind turbines are enormous, thevariability of wind prevents elimination of the smaller diesel unit, although this unitoperates less frequently than in the absence of wind power.

Keywords: wind energy and development ; stochastic simulation of electricity grids ; economic savings from wind power

Subject(s): Environmental Economics and Policy

International Development

Resource /Energy Economics and Policy

Issue Date: 2009-09

Publication Type: Working or Discussion Paper

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 19

JEL Codes: Q42

Series Statement: REPA Working Paper


Record appears in: University of Victoria > Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group > Working Papers

Autor: van Kooten, G. Cornelis ; Wong, Linda


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