Contextual Challenges in using DERs to Advance Remote Electrification

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Chattopadhyay, Abhiroop
Witmer, Ann-Perry
Sauer, Peter
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Abstract
This paper describes some non-technical challenges of utilizing Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) to achieve electrification in remote rural regions that fall outside the reach of the conventional utility grid. These non-technical challenges stem partly from the inability to utilize economies of scale, but are also related to place-based contexts of the communities that these systems are designed to serve. This paper provides some insights from a case study of DER usage for electrification in the Navajo Nation (NN) and the challenges that are involved. It describes through this illustrative case study why technology solutions and long-term policy initiatives and support – explicitly crafted using knowledge of place and people – are necessary to advance electrification goals in rural and under-served communities.
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Distributed, Renewable, and Mobile Resources, contextual engineering, distributed energy resources, non-technical design considerations, rural electrification, societal context
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