Research project »PV-Diesel-Global« to optimize minigrids

The Caribbean island of St. Eustatius is supplied entirely with renewable energy.

A new research project, »PV-Diesel-Global,« aims to advance the energy transition in off-grid areas. A number of German companies and organizations are thus investigating the possibilities of »system solutions for energy supply and grid integration« of island grids. The aim is »to replace diesel almost completely with solar and wind energy in the world's large island grids, which are still supplied with diesel power plants today.«
The project involves SMA Solar Technology AG, the Institute for Building and Energy Systems at Biberach University, Reutlingen University, Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology in Kassel, as well as the companies WRD/Enercon Aurich, DUTrain and the storage manufacturer Tesvolt.
Through »reliable and intelligent system solutions in diesel hybrid power plants,« a large part of the diesel fuel currently used in the Earth's sunbelt could be replaced by renewable energies. Photovoltaic-diesel hybrid projects with and without battery storage are already providing a reliable supply of sustainable electricity and stabilizing grids in numerous regions around the globe, says project manager Thorsten Buelo, system development engineer at SMA. Such systems would also help to reduce the cost of solar power generation and to increase the share of renewable energy. The joint project is intended to optimize hybrid power plants in terms of cost-effectiveness, reliability and areas of application.
The project participants are building on the results of the previous »PV-Diesel« research project. The »PV-Diesel-Global« project will run for three years and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy with €2.8 million ($3,4 million).

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