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The Transition to a Renewable Energy Electric Grid in the Caribbean Island Nation of Antigua and Barbuda


The present study describes the development and application of a model of the national electricity system for the Caribbean dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda to investigate the cost optimal mix of solar photovoltaics (PVs), wind, and, in the most novel contribution, concentrating solar power (CSP). These technologies, together with battery and hydrogen energy storage, can enable the aim of achieving 100% renewable electricity and zero carbon emissions. The motivation for this study was that while most nations in the Caribbean rely largely on diesel fuel or heavy fuel oil for grid electricity generation, many countries have renewable resources beyond wind and solar energy. Antigua and Barbuda generates 93% of its electricity from diesel-fueled generators and has set the target of becoming a net-zero nation by 2040, as well as having 86% renewable energy generation in the electricity sector by 2030, but the nation has no hydroelectric or geothermal resources. Thus, this study aims to demonstrate that CSP is a renewable energy technology that can help assist Antigua and Barbuda in its transition to a renewable energy electric grid while also decreasing electricity generation costs. The modeled, optimal mix of renewable energy technologies presented here was found for Antigua and Barbuda by assessing the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for systems comprising various combinations of energy technologies and storage. Other factors were also considered, such as land use and job creation. It was found that 100% renewable electricity systems are viable and significantly less costly than current power systems and that there is no single defined pathway towards a 100% renewable energy grid, but several options are available.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United States

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