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Mini-Grid Tools & Resources – December 2015 | Energy Access Practitioner Network

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Mini-Grid Tools & Resources – December 2015

The United Nations Foundation Investment Directory Highlights Financing Opportunities and Investment Needs of Mini/micro-grid Companies, United Nations Foundation

The recently released Investment Directory published by the United Nations Foundation showcases a billion-dollar financing opportunity presented by the growing number of companies and organizations in the decentralized renewable energy sector, including mini/micro grids companies. Sector funding needs as reported by the 210 member respondents for the next 12-24 months collectively amounted to a total of more than US $1.3 billion of which approximately $500 million of funding needs were attributed to mini/micro-grid companies and projects. A copy of the report is available at www.energyaccess.org.


Clean Energy Mini-grids Iniatiave Maps Mini-grid Support Providers and Programs, Alliance for Rural Electrification

On behalf of Sustainable Energy for All’s clean energy mini-grids initiative, the Alliance for Rural Electrification has created a web tool that maps public, philanthropic and commercial sources of funding, technical and other support available for clean energy mini-grids companies and projects globally. Through this web tool, users can access information on donor priorities and regions of interest, enabling them to adapt their business strategies and priorities accordingly, and better understand available resources to assist them to fill technical or financial gaps in their projects. The web tool is available here.


Catalogue of Tools for Mini-grid Project Planning and Execution, GIZ

Sustainable Energy for All’s clean energy mini-grids initiative is developing a catalogue of tools that can help practitioners during the various stages of mini-grid planning and implementation. So far, 50 relevant tools have been identified including software packages, cloud-based solutions, spreadsheets, checklists, and document templates. Your assistance is requested to make the catalogue as comprehensive as possible. Please review the draft catalogue and answer a few simple questions. The draft document is also available for download here.

Please fill in the survey or send your feedback on the draft catalogue to bozhil.kondev@giz.de.


New Rocky Mountain Institute Report: Renewable Micro-grids – Profiles from Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe, Rocky Mountain Institute

The report examines several remote, islanded micro-grids from around the globe sharing examples of communities transitioning from one resource (oil) to a diverse set of resources including wind, solar, biodiesel, hydro, and energy storage. The examples include small micro-grids serving fewer than 100 people, and larger micro-grids serving over 10,000, with a peak demand range from 60 kW to 27 MW.


The Mini-Grid Builder, GIZ

The Mini-Grid Builder is a free web tool for reducing up-front project development costs through the utilization of site survey data. It allows interested parties to enter data from site surveys into a database and perform calculations on the energy demand, and thus the required generation capacity. The tool includes financial analysis that facilitates the projection of an initial project budget allowing for decisions towards the next steps. All data on each project is stored in a secure database that allows future review and changes to any project entered.


Mapping the Unmapped – Low Cost Rural Electrification Tools, Village Infrastructure Angels

Developmentmaps.org is a low-cost mapping service to help electrification practitioners design their next phase of expansion into the rural market. Utilizing satellite imagery to identify individual houses as the baseline, the tool creates a minimum spanning tree network to connect the identified households.

Created in 2012 as a low-cost mapping service, www.developmentmaps.org was established to help rural electrification practitioners design their next phase of expansion into the rural market. As momentum and investment builds towards achieving universal access to energy by 2030 for the 1 billion people that lack electricity, there is an increasing need to become more systematic and deliberate in market development. Mini-grids are very likely to become a major solution. However, country-level electrification plans need to become more transparent and interactive, so public and private investments can be carefully targeted and regions for off-grid development are intentionally defined in areas where grid extension is not planned. These factors gives rise to the need to know the exact location of rural households in developing countries, particularly those in currently un-electrified areas.

Developmentmaps.org addresses this issue by identifying household locations from satellite imagery, often available for free, and then detecting the latitude and longitude of each house through manual mapping by trained, low-cost staff. household data as the baseline and adding data processing algorithms, it is possible to generate a network of lines that connects all households together in the shortest-length mini-grid design, also known as the minimum spanning tree. Additionally, the developmentmaps.org process identifies the households best served by solar home systems. If electrical loads at identified households are known, conductor sizing, voltage drop calculations, and power station sizing can also be completed, at a cost of less than 1% of the cost of installing the actual energy infrastructure.

For further details of these tools and services, please visit www.developmentmaps.org and let the team know which region is of interest for you to map, or email Stewart Craine, Managing Director at stewart@villageinfrastructure.org.


Where Shall we put it? Solar Mini-grid Site Selection Handbook, GIZ

Solar-hybrid mini-grids produce electrical energy through a mix of solar and any other resource — such as a renewable resource like wind, or a fossil fuel like diesel used as a back-up. This site selection criteria handbook can be used as a guideline by all actors in the energy sector to perform a site selection analysis for any mini-grid project, by carefully selecting the appropriate parameters that apply to their own areas of implementation.