Bob Brecha and Andrew Chiasson
Hanley Sustainability Institute
The present study outlines the development and implementation of a computer model for Antigua and Barbuda's national electricity system, a dual-island nation in the Caribbean. The primary objective of this research is to investigate the cost-effective integration of renewable energy sources, including solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, and in the most novel contribution to the study, concentrating solar power (CSP). In addition to these technologies, the study explores the potential of battery and hydrogen energy storage to facilitate the transition towards 100% renewable electricity generation and the reduction of carbon emissions. This thesis is not solely a theoretical endeavor; it also identifies the practical aspects of concentrating solar power (CSP) by investigating its mechanical and operational procedures. Furthermore, the study encompasses a reflection on real-world experiences gained during an internship at Antigua and Barbuda's Department of Environment through the ETHOS center. This exposure provided insights into the local context and challenges, expanding the dimensions of the research. The motivation behind this investigation stems from the fact that many Caribbean nations heavily rely on diesel or heavy fuel oil for their grid electricity generation. Antigua and Barbuda currently generates 93% of its electricity from diesel- fueled generators. The nation has set goals of achieving net-zero status by 2040 and 86% renewable energy generation in the electricity sector by 2030, despite the absence of hydroelectric or geothermal resources. The study employs an assessment of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for systems that combine various energy technologies and storage options to identify an economically optimal system. The analysis also considers factors like land use and job creation. The results indicate that 100% renewable electricity systems are feasible and more cost-effective than the current power infrastructure. This study underscores that there is no single defined path to achieve a 100% renewable energy grid; instead, it offers several viable options for the nation's sustainable energy future.
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Hoody, Patrick, "The Transition to a Renewable Energy Electric Grid in the Caribbean Island Nation of Antigua and Barbuda" (2023). Honors Theses. 427.