Accuracy of energy-use surveys in predicting rural mini-grid user consumption

Courtney Blodgett, Peter Dauenhauer, Henry Louie, Lauren Kickham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mini-grids for rural electrification in developing countries are growing in popularity but are not yet widely deployed. A key barrier of mini-grid proliferation is the uncertainty in predicting customer electricity consumption, which adds financial risk. Energy-use surveys deployed in the pre-feasibility stage that capture present and aspirational consumption are intended to reduce this uncertainty. However, the general reliability and accuracy of these surveys has not been demonstrated. This research compares survey-predicted electrical energy use to actual measured consumption of customers of eight minigrids in rural Kenya. A follow-up audit compares the aspirational inventory of appliances to the realized inventory. The analysis shows that the ability to accurately estimate past consumption even in a relatively short time-horizon is prone to appreciable error—a mean absolute error of 426 Wh/day per customer on a mean consumption of 113 Wh/day per customer. An alternative data-driven proxy village approach, which uses average customer consumption from each mini-grid to predict consumption at other mini-grids, was more accurate and reduced the mean absolute error to 75 Wh/day per customer. Hourly load profiles were constructed to provide insight into potential causes of error and to suggest how the data provided in this work can be used in computer-aided mini-grid design programs.
LanguageEnglish
Pages88-105
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Volume41
Early online date6 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

energy use
customer
energy
Developing countries
uncertainty
rural electrification
electricity consumption
Electricity
survey research
audit
Kenya
proliferation
popularity
consumption
village
developing world
developing country
cause
present
ability

Keywords

  • micro-grids
  • mini-grids
  • rural electrification
  • energy estimation
  • energy-use survey
  • solar power

Cite this

Blodgett, Courtney ; Dauenhauer, Peter ; Louie, Henry ; Kickham, Lauren. / Accuracy of energy-use surveys in predicting rural mini-grid user consumption. In: Energy for Sustainable Development. 2017 ; Vol. 41. pp. 88-105.
@article{46ae087458cd49379247e1d2e4e6efea,
title = "Accuracy of energy-use surveys in predicting rural mini-grid user consumption",
abstract = "Mini-grids for rural electrification in developing countries are growing in popularity but are not yet widely deployed. A key barrier of mini-grid proliferation is the uncertainty in predicting customer electricity consumption, which adds financial risk. Energy-use surveys deployed in the pre-feasibility stage that capture present and aspirational consumption are intended to reduce this uncertainty. However, the general reliability and accuracy of these surveys has not been demonstrated. This research compares survey-predicted electrical energy use to actual measured consumption of customers of eight minigrids in rural Kenya. A follow-up audit compares the aspirational inventory of appliances to the realized inventory. The analysis shows that the ability to accurately estimate past consumption even in a relatively short time-horizon is prone to appreciable error—a mean absolute error of 426 Wh/day per customer on a mean consumption of 113 Wh/day per customer. An alternative data-driven proxy village approach, which uses average customer consumption from each mini-grid to predict consumption at other mini-grids, was more accurate and reduced the mean absolute error to 75 Wh/day per customer. Hourly load profiles were constructed to provide insight into potential causes of error and to suggest how the data provided in this work can be used in computer-aided mini-grid design programs.",
keywords = "micro-grids, mini-grids, rural electrification, energy estimation, energy-use survey, solar power",
author = "Courtney Blodgett and Peter Dauenhauer and Henry Louie and Lauren Kickham",
year = "2017",
month = "12",
day = "31",
doi = "10.1016/j.esd.2017.08.002",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "88--105",
journal = "Energy for Sustainable Development",
issn = "0973-0826",

}

Accuracy of energy-use surveys in predicting rural mini-grid user consumption. / Blodgett, Courtney; Dauenhauer, Peter; Louie, Henry; Kickham, Lauren.

In: Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 41, 31.12.2017, p. 88-105.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accuracy of energy-use surveys in predicting rural mini-grid user consumption

AU - Blodgett, Courtney

AU - Dauenhauer, Peter

AU - Louie, Henry

AU - Kickham, Lauren

PY - 2017/12/31

Y1 - 2017/12/31

N2 - Mini-grids for rural electrification in developing countries are growing in popularity but are not yet widely deployed. A key barrier of mini-grid proliferation is the uncertainty in predicting customer electricity consumption, which adds financial risk. Energy-use surveys deployed in the pre-feasibility stage that capture present and aspirational consumption are intended to reduce this uncertainty. However, the general reliability and accuracy of these surveys has not been demonstrated. This research compares survey-predicted electrical energy use to actual measured consumption of customers of eight minigrids in rural Kenya. A follow-up audit compares the aspirational inventory of appliances to the realized inventory. The analysis shows that the ability to accurately estimate past consumption even in a relatively short time-horizon is prone to appreciable error—a mean absolute error of 426 Wh/day per customer on a mean consumption of 113 Wh/day per customer. An alternative data-driven proxy village approach, which uses average customer consumption from each mini-grid to predict consumption at other mini-grids, was more accurate and reduced the mean absolute error to 75 Wh/day per customer. Hourly load profiles were constructed to provide insight into potential causes of error and to suggest how the data provided in this work can be used in computer-aided mini-grid design programs.

AB - Mini-grids for rural electrification in developing countries are growing in popularity but are not yet widely deployed. A key barrier of mini-grid proliferation is the uncertainty in predicting customer electricity consumption, which adds financial risk. Energy-use surveys deployed in the pre-feasibility stage that capture present and aspirational consumption are intended to reduce this uncertainty. However, the general reliability and accuracy of these surveys has not been demonstrated. This research compares survey-predicted electrical energy use to actual measured consumption of customers of eight minigrids in rural Kenya. A follow-up audit compares the aspirational inventory of appliances to the realized inventory. The analysis shows that the ability to accurately estimate past consumption even in a relatively short time-horizon is prone to appreciable error—a mean absolute error of 426 Wh/day per customer on a mean consumption of 113 Wh/day per customer. An alternative data-driven proxy village approach, which uses average customer consumption from each mini-grid to predict consumption at other mini-grids, was more accurate and reduced the mean absolute error to 75 Wh/day per customer. Hourly load profiles were constructed to provide insight into potential causes of error and to suggest how the data provided in this work can be used in computer-aided mini-grid design programs.

KW - micro-grids

KW - mini-grids

KW - rural electrification

KW - energy estimation

KW - energy-use survey

KW - solar power

UR - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0973082617304350?via%3Dihub

U2 - 10.1016/j.esd.2017.08.002

DO - 10.1016/j.esd.2017.08.002

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 88

EP - 105

JO - Energy for Sustainable Development

T2 - Energy for Sustainable Development

JF - Energy for Sustainable Development

SN - 0973-0826

ER -