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Microgrids for rural schools: An energy-education accord to curb societal challenges for sustainable rural developments

1Sustainable Energy Systems, School of Engineering and Computer Science , Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, 6140, New Zealand

2Department of Industrial Engineering, and the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, Stellenbosch University, 7600, South Africa

3International Energy Research Centre (IERC), Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland

Received: 1 May 2019; Revised: 26 Aug 2019; Accepted: 3 Sep 2019; Available online: 30 Oct 2019; Published: 27 Oct 2019.
Editor(s): H Hadiyanto

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Quality education and schools have a key role to play in the sustainable development of society. Unfortunately, many remote communities in developing countries fail to enjoy access to quality education due to a lack of electricity, thereby interrupting regular school services in the villages. The main objective of the paper contributes to understanding the importance of the energy-education accord, and aims to curb the social challenges prevailing in the villages. Specifically, the paper suggests a technical intervention by designing a hybrid renewable energy system for such schools. The approach is demonstrated through a case study with a load demand of approximately 4 kWh/d, comprising a class size of 40 students. A techno-economic evaluation of the energy system reveals the levelized cost of energy of the system at USD 0.22 per kWh, which may be affordable considering number of other aspects, outlined in this paper, to enable a larger uptake of such systems in developing countries. ©2019. CBIORE-IJRED. All rights reserved

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Keywords: microgrids; rural electrification; rural school and education; techno-economic analysis; sustainable development goals

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