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Stand- alone PV systems for rural electrification: is solar energy really more convenient?. The conflict on rural electrification in Tagamanent, Montseny Natural Park. Amsterdam, 30 th January 2004. Contents. 1. Introduction: rural electrification and solar energy

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stand alone pv systems for rural electrification is solar energy really more convenient

Stand- alone PV systems for rural electrification:is solar energy really more convenient?

The conflict on rural electrification in Tagamanent, Montseny Natural Park

Amsterdam, 30th January 2004

contents
Contents

1. Introduction: rural electrification and solar energy

2. The case- study: the conflict on rural electrification in Tagamanent

3. What we have done

4. What is still missing

5. Preliminary conclusions

rural electrification i
Rural electrification (I)

According to the World Bank, 2 billions people live without electricity, mostly in rural areas of Southern countries

In fact, where households are few and scattered, extending the electrical grid is very expensive when compared with the low revenues for electricity enterprises

rural electrification ii
Rural electrification (II)

Rural electrification is also an issue in Spain: the Energy Plan of Catalonia promises to electrify all permanently occupied farmhouses:

1.063 farmhouses

solar home system shs
Solar Home System (SHS)

Solar energy is the most used source for remote applications because of flexibility, little scale, abundance of sun in most not yet electrified areas, international cooperation programs

A SHS is composed by:

  • PV panels
  • Battery
  • A lighting system and some small appliances
rural electrification and solar energy
Rural electrification and solar energy
  • Rural electrification may be a good opportunity to promote solar energy
  • In fact, it is a niche market, where renewable energy is already or almost competitive with traditional electricity. It can help extending PV market, so that scale economies can be created and know- how spread out
problems associated with grid extension
Problems associated with grid extension
  • High costs, due to dispersion of farmhouses
  • Inefficiency and frequent breakdowns: sometimes electricity companies do not adequately maintain the grid
  • Environmental impact: damage to birds, deforestation, risk of fire in forest areas, impact on landscape, CO2 emissions
rural electrification and smca
Rural electrification and SMCA
  • SMCA can be used to decide if PV panels are more adequate than traditional grid for rural electrification
  • It is a collective choice, where different factors (economic, environmental, social) different interests come into play
  • SMCA might be useful to decide if it is worth to invest public funds in supporting PV panels for rural electrification
montseny natural park
Montseny Natural Park

It is situated in northern Catalonia, between Girona and Barcelona. It is one of the biggest and oldest Catalan NaturalParksIt has an extension of 301 Km2 and a population of 834 inhabitants, mostly scattered inside the ParkIt is extremely interesting under a biological and under a social point of view: Three biomes typical of the entire European continentIts landscape is the outcome of a very long history of interactions between humans and ecosystems

slide11

Institutional

Analysis

Isolation of Relevant

Social Actors

Isolation of Actors’ Values,

Desires and Preferences

Generation of Policy

Options and Evaluation

Criteria

In-depth Interviews

Construction of the

Multi-Criteria

Impact Matrix

Construction of the

Equity Impact Matrix

Application of a

Mathematical Procedure

Questionnaires to a

Representative Sample of

Population

Sensitivity and Robustness

Analysis

the conflict i
The conflict (I)

In 1994 the Natural Parks Services (SPN) entrustes SEBA with a document on the electrification deficit inside the Park: 105 not yet electrified farmhouses were identified

Diputació, SEBA and ICAEN launch a rural electrification program, that works very well in the entire Park (38,7 kWp installed), but in Montseny and Tagamanent municipality

In Tagamanent, SPN does not approve the grid extension project proposed by the Municipality. In the following years the conflict between the Mayor, supported by most farmhouse owners (in favor of grid extension) and Diputació (in favour of PV panels) has not been solved. Both have been drawing up many projects, but did not reach an agreement

the conflict ii
The conflict (II)

Nowadays:

  • Some of the farmhouses have solar panels
  • The Mayor still tries to convince SPN to approve and partly finance electric grid extension
  • SPN still does not accept
  • Some owners would like to extend electric grid, but only if SPN contributes to the expense
slide14

Institutional

Analysis

Isolation of Relevant

Social Actors

Isolation of Actors’ Values,

Desires and Preferences

Generation of Policy

Options and Evaluation

Criteria

In-depth Interviews

Construction of the

Multi-Criteria

Impact Matrix

Construction of the

Equity Impact Matrix

Application of a

Mathematical Procedure

Questionnaires to a

Representative Sample of

Population

Sensitivity and Robustness

Analysis

main results of institutional analysis the stakeholders i
Main results of institutional analysis: the stakeholders (I)
  • Owners: most of them do not live in their farmhouses. Some rent them and some live them abandoned. They are interested in electrification because it would revalue their property, and eventually allow to found some low- scale activity
  • Leaseholders are mostly people coming from cities, which decide to live in a Natural Park because they like nature. They are interested in having as much comfort as they can, at the lowest possible price. The one who have PV panels are quite satisfied (except one), even though they would prefer traditional electricity
main results of institutional analysis the stakeholders ii
Main results of institutional analysis: the stakeholders (II)
  • SPN: its institutional task is to preserve Montseny environment. It tries to promote PV because of the environmental impact of electric grid extension
  • Tagamanent Mayor: it has been trying for many years to convince SPN to approve and partly finance electric grid extension. It is against PV because they assure a lower comfort and hinder the establishment of little activities, such as little dairies, rural pensions or restaurants
slide17

Institutional

Analysis

Isolation of Relevant

Social Actors

Isolation of Actors’ Values,

Desires and Preferences

Generation of Policy

Options and Evaluation

Criteria

In-depth Interviews

Construction of the

Multi-Criteria

Impact Matrix

Construction of the

Equity Impact Matrix

Application of a

Mathematical Procedure

Questionnaires to a

Representative Sample of

Population

Sensitivity and Robustness

Analysis

analyzed policy options
Analyzed policy options
  • Two matrixes:

1) Retroactive analysis (1998)

2) Analysis of present situation (2004)

  • Three points of view:

1) Owners+Mayor

2) Leaseholders

3) SPN

slide19

Institutional

Analysis

Isolation of Relevant

Social Actors

Isolation of Actors’ Values,

Desires and Preferences

Generation of Policy

Options and Evaluation

Criteria

In-depth Interviews

Construction of the

Multi-Criteria

Impact Matrix

Construction of the

Equity Impact Matrix

Application of a

Mathematical Procedure

Questionnaires to a

Representative Sample of

Population

Sensitivity and Robustness

Analysis

to be done
To be done...
  • Interviews with owners
  • One or two interviews with leaseholders
  • Meeting with owners and Mayor
slide24

Institutional

Analysis

Isolation of Relevant

Social Actors

Isolation of Actors’ Values,

Desires and Preferences

Generation of Policy

Options and Evaluation

Criteria

In-depth Interviews

Construction of the

Multi-Criteria

Impact Matrix

Construction of the

Equity Impact Matrix

Application of a

Mathematical Procedure

Questionnaires to a

Representative Sample of

Population

Sensitivity and Robustness

Analysis

preliminary conclusions i
Preliminary conclusions (I)

The choice on energy sources in remote areas depends very much on:

  • Subsidies
  • Temporal horizon
  • Kind of activities it is forecasted to carry out

At the root of the analysed conflict there are different views on the future development of Montseny Natural Park (conservationism v. economic activities)

preliminary conclusions ii
Preliminary conclusions (II)
  • Rural electrification may be a good chance to promote renewable energy, because in sufficiently isolated areas they are more convenient than conventional electricity
  • In this context public policy plays a mayor role
  • There are still many prejudices against renewable energy  importance of education and information
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