Remote Community Renewables - Diesel Offset



  • @isknapp no need to share any details that you're not comfortable with. I think your comment is incredibly intriguing though and would love to learn as much you're willing to share about the challenges associated with renewables in remote areas.

    A few general questions would be:

    • What kinds of groups are financially backing most of the projects you work on? Are they community driven, public, or private endeavours?
    • Am I reading your comment correctly that in order to unlock higher renewables penetration on the local microgrid, a carbon tax is what is required?


  • @isknapp no worries, I just think what you're doing is really cool



  • @ericvanular

    I have not heard of much operation in privately funded microgrids recently. Every instance seems to be primarily government funded (with local purchase agreements and matching funds). Parts of India and Africa would probably be exceptions, but those focus on “electrifying for lights-plus-cell-phone-charging” more often than “decarbonizing a near-developed-world living standard.”

    People are working on financial instruments to ease the introduction of private capital, but private capital (even altruistic or green capital) is very flighty, and when you talk about the specifics of decarbonizing, they inevitably go with someone else. In the end, the market competes hard for private capital, and our projects aren't that sexy.

    Re carbon tax: a carbon tax would likely be devastating to all rural areas across the world, but for locations with strong renewable potential, they have an excellent chance at producing low carbon living at an acceptable price point. The nut to crack would be transport.



  • @isknapp Thanks for sharing. What is driving private capital in India/Africa? Is it just much cheaper to build there? I understand that the infrastructure required for just getting lights and cell charging is much less than a modern microgrid would demand



  • @isknapp you have a really interesting job! What's the most surprising thing that you've learned or experienced in the last year doing what you do?



  • @isknapp Could you please elaborate on the nut to crack being transport? What is it about transport that would open things up? Thanks for sharing your knowledge



  • @Felix-G
    Hey felix,
    What i was referring to is the carbon intensity of rural transportation. When people move individually they consume a lot of energy: car atv, plane. To remove carbon intensity in rural areas, there will have to be electric transportation options. I think an electric atv would have a nice combination of usability and affordability. It would also be possible with today’s technology.



  • @aviary in parts of India and Africa there is no existing electricity infrastructure. So private capital wants to come in and provide a source of economic development. This investment is frequently done with green energy. Because these places don’t have existing fossil fuel generation, they can accept tradeoffs that first world customers never would (outages and generation limits)



  • @isknapp Transportation sounds like a feasible short term focus to start decarbonizing remote populations. I suppose even if the transportation is electrified, a lot of the energy that would provide power would come from diesel generation - still probably less overall emissions than directly from internal combustion.

    What major obstacles exist to electrifying remote transportation options like ATVs currently? Is there a major blocker other than the capital up front?



  • @isknapp Do you have any ideas on what the general population can do to push projects like yours forward? What have you seen in terms of effective action to get remote community decarbonization happening at a faster rate?