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Power to the Philippines - A life cycle assessment study comparing renewable and non-renewable off grid energy supply systems

Engström, Sebastian LU and Berglund, Simon LU (2015) FMI820 20142
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
Environmental Engineering
Abstract
The Philippines is an island nation in South East Asia consisting of more than 7 000 separate islands. The Philippines is the country in the world that is most often struck by tropical storm; every year between 6 and 9 typhoons hit land in the Philippines. In November 2013 the super typhoon Haiyan hit the nation, killing 10 000 people and causing massive destruction to parts of the infrastructure (including the national electric grid). Especially in the first months following a disaster of this magnitude it is crucial for a successful disaster recovery to give the people access to electricity to enable refrigeration, clean water generation, telecommunication and lighting. Large portions of the Philippine people living in rural areas are... (More)
The Philippines is an island nation in South East Asia consisting of more than 7 000 separate islands. The Philippines is the country in the world that is most often struck by tropical storm; every year between 6 and 9 typhoons hit land in the Philippines. In November 2013 the super typhoon Haiyan hit the nation, killing 10 000 people and causing massive destruction to parts of the infrastructure (including the national electric grid). Especially in the first months following a disaster of this magnitude it is crucial for a successful disaster recovery to give the people access to electricity to enable refrigeration, clean water generation, telecommunication and lighting. Large portions of the Philippine people living in rural areas are left without access to the national grid, and are mostly relying on diesel generators for power generation.

The Swedish company InnoVentum has started a project called “Power to the Philippines” which intends to provide humanitarian aid villages run by the Children’s mission that are active in the area with renewable energy using their power generation solution, the “Dali Powertower”. The Dali Powertower is a renewable hybrid power generation system combining wind and solar power. This study investigates InnoVentums project “Power to the Philippines” if realized in its full-scale form - being able to completely power a humanitarian aid village with renewable energy to meet its basic needs - and compares it to a diesel generator system (as is commonly used today). A combination of the two systems (a renewable/diesel hybrid system) is also studied. These three energy supply systems are studied and compared from an environmental and economic perspective to see what advantages, or disadvantages, there might be to the “Power to the Philippines”-project.

The environmental impact of these three systems will be compared by conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) study, which takes into account all aspects of the life cycles of the energy supply systems, usually ranging from raw-material acquisition to the end-of-life treatment. The LCA study is mainly focusing on the environmental impact categories global warming potential (GWP) and primary energy demand. The economic performance of the different systems is assessed by using the equivalent annual cost method, which results in a price per kWh of produced energy. This analysis is done for three different discount rates (3, 8 and 13 %) with the aim of simulating how different investors required rates of return affect the result of the economic analysis.

The results of the LCA study showed that the Powertower system has the least amount of environmental impact per kWh of used energy out of the studied systems, both regarding GWP (89 gCO2/kWh) and primary energy demand (0.33 kWh/kWh). The diesel generator is the system with the highest amount of environmental impact, having about 21 times higher environmental impact (both regarding global warming potential and primary energy demand) than the Powertower system. The renewable/diesel hybrid system had the second lowest environmental impact, with about 6 times higher environmental impact (both regarding global warming potential and primary energy demand) than the Powertower system.

The results from the economic analysis show that when the all the electricity is utilized, the Powertower system produces the cheapest electricity at a low and medium discount-rate (0.31 and 0.44 $/kWh respectively) while the diesel generator system (flat-rate diesel price) produces the cheapest electricity at a high discount-rate (0.57 $/kWh). However, if only the electricity used by the humanitarian aid village is considered, the hybrid system becomes the cheapest alternative, costing 0.56 $/kWh compared to the 0.75 $/kWh of the Powertower system. At the medium discount-rate the diesel generator system produces the cheapest energy (0.53 $/kWh), closely followed by the Powertower and hybrid system costing about 10 cents more per kWh. At the high discount-rate the diesel generator system becomes even cheaper (0.57 $/kWh) compared to its competitors while the leap to the competitors simultaneously becomes larger.

The conclusion is made that the hybrid system is the best alternative for the humanitarian aid village, as it can provide cheap energy with high energy security at a relatively low environmental impact. Therefore, the “Power to the Philippines” project can be deemed to be of interest to the humanitarian aid villages, as long as the energy load of the humanitarian aid village is not solely provided by Powertowers. A hybridization of Powertowers with the existing diesel generators can help lower the environmental impact of the existing energy system, while simultaneously lowering the cost of electricity. (Less)
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author
Engström, Sebastian LU and Berglund, Simon LU
supervisor
organization
course
FMI820 20142
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
report number
ISRN LUTFD2/TFEM--15/5106--SE + (1-101)
ISSN
1102-3651
language
English
id
7868889
date added to LUP
2016-01-07 15:00:37
date last changed
2016-01-08 08:45:01
@misc{7868889,
  abstract     = {The Philippines is an island nation in South East Asia consisting of more than 7 000 separate islands. The Philippines is the country in the world that is most often struck by tropical storm; every year between 6 and 9 typhoons hit land in the Philippines. In November 2013 the super typhoon Haiyan hit the nation, killing 10 000 people and causing massive destruction to parts of the infrastructure (including the national electric grid). Especially in the first months following a disaster of this magnitude it is crucial for a successful disaster recovery to give the people access to electricity to enable refrigeration, clean water generation, telecommunication and lighting. Large portions of the Philippine people living in rural areas are left without access to the national grid, and are mostly relying on diesel generators for power generation.

The Swedish company InnoVentum has started a project called “Power to the Philippines” which intends to provide humanitarian aid villages run by the Children’s mission that are active in the area with renewable energy using their power generation solution, the “Dali Powertower”. The Dali Powertower is a renewable hybrid power generation system combining wind and solar power. This study investigates InnoVentums project “Power to the Philippines” if realized in its full-scale form - being able to completely power a humanitarian aid village with renewable energy to meet its basic needs - and compares it to a diesel generator system (as is commonly used today). A combination of the two systems (a renewable/diesel hybrid system) is also studied. These three energy supply systems are studied and compared from an environmental and economic perspective to see what advantages, or disadvantages, there might be to the “Power to the Philippines”-project.

The environmental impact of these three systems will be compared by conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) study, which takes into account all aspects of the life cycles of the energy supply systems, usually ranging from raw-material acquisition to the end-of-life treatment. The LCA study is mainly focusing on the environmental impact categories global warming potential (GWP) and primary energy demand. The economic performance of the different systems is assessed by using the equivalent annual cost method, which results in a price per kWh of produced energy. This analysis is done for three different discount rates (3, 8 and 13 %) with the aim of simulating how different investors required rates of return affect the result of the economic analysis.

The results of the LCA study showed that the Powertower system has the least amount of environmental impact per kWh of used energy out of the studied systems, both regarding GWP (89 gCO2/kWh) and primary energy demand (0.33 kWh/kWh). The diesel generator is the system with the highest amount of environmental impact, having about 21 times higher environmental impact (both regarding global warming potential and primary energy demand) than the Powertower system. The renewable/diesel hybrid system had the second lowest environmental impact, with about 6 times higher environmental impact (both regarding global warming potential and primary energy demand) than the Powertower system.

The results from the economic analysis show that when the all the electricity is utilized, the Powertower system produces the cheapest electricity at a low and medium discount-rate (0.31 and 0.44 $/kWh respectively) while the diesel generator system (flat-rate diesel price) produces the cheapest electricity at a high discount-rate (0.57 $/kWh). However, if only the electricity used by the humanitarian aid village is considered, the hybrid system becomes the cheapest alternative, costing 0.56 $/kWh compared to the 0.75 $/kWh of the Powertower system. At the medium discount-rate the diesel generator system produces the cheapest energy (0.53 $/kWh), closely followed by the Powertower and hybrid system costing about 10 cents more per kWh. At the high discount-rate the diesel generator system becomes even cheaper (0.57 $/kWh) compared to its competitors while the leap to the competitors simultaneously becomes larger.

The conclusion is made that the hybrid system is the best alternative for the humanitarian aid village, as it can provide cheap energy with high energy security at a relatively low environmental impact. Therefore, the “Power to the Philippines” project can be deemed to be of interest to the humanitarian aid villages, as long as the energy load of the humanitarian aid village is not solely provided by Powertowers. A hybridization of Powertowers with the existing diesel generators can help lower the environmental impact of the existing energy system, while simultaneously lowering the cost of electricity.},
  author       = {Engström, Sebastian and Berglund, Simon},
  issn         = {1102-3651},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Power to the Philippines - A life cycle assessment study comparing renewable and non-renewable off grid energy supply systems},
  year         = {2015},
}