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Locally delivering distributed generation and sustainable energy to communities in the developed world

Genin, Christopher Huw Russell (2010) Locally delivering distributed generation and sustainable energy to communities in the developed world. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Sustainable energy use in the developed world requires locally deployed distributed generation and energy efficiency measures within communities. This dissertation tests the hypothesis that this can be better done by an Energy Service Company than by government and the utilities. Ireland was used to place this research in context. The Irish electricity market is still dominated by the pre deregulation utilities that also own and operate the transmission and distribution network. The Irish government has also established a Sustainable Energy Authority to formulate policy and manage incentives. A review of the literature resulted in the modelling of an Energy Service Company operating in an exclusive Energy Service Area based on the town of Greystones 30 km south of Dublin. This model included a capital programme, operating philosophy and business plan designed to increase sustainable energy use. Finance packages for customers interested in efficiency improvements were also laid out. This model was then simulated. This showed that net grid imports had been reduced from 90,380,768 kWh/year to 13,212,924 kWh/year. A lifecycle economic analysis returned a net present value of ! 43,902,705 compared to ! 17,105,253 for the baseline case. Social impacts of the development programme could result in opposition, but community ownership of the company would align objectives. Moreover, the current top-down initiatives and bottom up incentives in Ireland are unlikely to bring about the transformation of communities a quickly as this model. In conclusion, based on the analysis of this paper the hypothesis is valid. It is recommended that detailed research is conducted using this model and that other areas are investigated to test whether the conclusions of this paper can be applied universally. Based on this further research policy proposals should be developed for consultation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Pryor, Trevor
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