GAYE CHUKWUYEM EDOBOR
Current PhD Student
Community based decentralised renewable energy systems and supporting structures for improving electricity access in low-income countries (CEANGAL).
Research Project Summary: The CEANGAL project will specifically address the problems identified above, which hinders improved energy access and sustainable implementation of RES in low-income SSA regions by:
- Creating an operational and viable framework, structures and tools for a coordinated approach to develop local, community- based and stakeholder driven sustainable energy co-operatives and RES ownership and operation schemes, which can be applied and replicated for use in a wide range of SSA regions. This will be validated through extensive engagement and selected demonstration cases covering considerations for different energy, geographic and candidate uses.
- Jointly develop practical, easy to use digital, audio-visual and paper tools, and short training courses that will support a clear understanding of the life cycle of decentralised RES systems, from calculating and forecasting energy demand, to system selection and purchase, installation, operation and maintenance, to end of life disposal. The tools offered by the CEANGAL project will also include financial and cost benefit analysis (to make informed choices on most economically suitable RES choices).
- The development of ambitious and innovative collaborative knowledge exchange, expertise transfer and competence development network between Irish research organisations (RO) and local SSA LIC research and developmental institutions to grow and strengthen the local capacities in order to meet the targeted improvement of electricity access to underserved populations and meet the overall poverty reduction and sustainable development goals. The developed network will also serve as a functional local hub for local stakeholder engagement and ensuring the continuity of established RES projects, a regional information point for future communities’ interests in RES implementation, and for providing future training and support to drive the continued process of RES uptake (selection, purchase, installation and maintenance). These centres will be the regional custodians of the developed CEANGAL framework and tools, and will oversee its local administration.
- Replicating and promoting the widespread adoption and use of the project solutions across other SSA LICs, concentrating on those with the lowest electricity access per population. This will be achieved with a proactive exploitation strategy to maximise the project impact, and the acceptance of the CEANGAL outcomes as the “go to” mechanisms for LIC regions, post-project.
Project Objective: The CEANGAL project has an ambitious, feasible, and practical innovation agenda that aims at providing replicable mechanisms to increase the uptake of community-based RES systems and sustained growth in electricity accessibility in LIC rural communities. The project will deliver several measurable, high impact, strategic, societal, economic and organisational objectives as below:
- Develop an adaptable framework focused on the concept of sustainable community-driven RES implementation applicable in LIC communities. The CEANGAL framework will initially be refined and collaboratively developed with SSA RO partners (in targeted LICs with significant low electricity access). The framework will provide proven data-driven best practices, operational guidelines and considerations that should be covered to afford improved success in achieving RES acquisition and operation for prospective community driven electrification projects. The framework will also set-up potential roles and service offerings of the designated ROs as regional expertise hubs and external collaboration activities (i.e. with Irish RO) to support local implementation. The framework will be developed via intensive cooperation activities between the Irish and African ROs, and will address one of the main barriers to successful RES systems by providing relevant and adaptable mechanisms/structures to facilitate community electrification projects.
- Develop an integrated CEANGAL suite of tools, with tools that will support the CEANGAL framework concept and provide tangible information, estimation and decision support tools with functionalities to afford a detailed knowledge of RES choices, their suitability to meet the local energy requirements, conditions and resources, and specific guides on the installation, operation and maintenance of several suitable RES. These tools will meet the project aim of reducing the currently observed lack of know-how and expertise on the operations and maintenance of RES.
- Develop the component tools of the CEANGAL tools suite – The toolset will cover all major aspects of RES systems (from initial choice to local mechanisms available to raise funds, acquisition, to installation and operation).
- Afford an intensive engagement of targeted local stakeholders in the tools development and refinement to ensure suitability to meet needs and ensure it is significantly adopted.
- Ensure the adoption and acceptance of the developed CEANGAL tools through testing, demonstration and validation in selected LIC test sites, ensuring the tools suitability to support RES, thus sustaining their operation.
- Provide improved local competencies and know-how on RES systems, community driven RES projects implementation, and establishment of regional RES expertise hubs with capabilities for supporting communities in achieving electricity accessibility goals through decentralised RES implementation.
- Enhance local RO competencies and expertise via collaboration and knowledge transfer and delivery of relevant short courses to serve as regional drivers to effectively meet the energy accessibility improvement goals.
- Improved engagement and communication with use communities, and establishment of community information centres to afford use of CEANGAL outputs, and as the main point for information exchange with regional hub.
- Improve the overall process economics of RES acquisition, improvement of knowledge and overall successful funding and purchase rates, and facilitating significant uptake of community-based RES.
- Collate and analyse relevant funding schemes and models utilisable to meet RES acquisition.
- Afford cost effective decision making on potential RES, and different ownership models.
- Achieving energy self-sufficiency, and identification of other potential energy carriers/uses.
- Contribute to the goals of the Irish Government’s “A Better World” and “Global Ireland: Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025” targets of creating a more equal and sustainable world by reaching those furthest behind, by driving growth and development opportunities through improved electricity access in LIC communities. This is expected to strengthen the operation of critical infrastructures and lead to the proliferation and growth of local industries.
- Develop a working replicable framework that can be easily adopted to afford decentralised RES and micro electrification projects in LIC communities currently without electricity access.
- Visibility of the successful use of the project outputs in selected demonstration sites, aimed for different use cases and geographic environments (and including gender specific considerations).
- Develop stakeholder driven roadmap & adoption strategy, operational and adoption barriers.
- Develop an exploitation plan which identifies how the project outcomes will be continued after the funding period.
- Improve the adoption and implementation of the CEANGAL project solutions by the relevant community stakeholders.
- Set-up of local contact and information centres for effective community engagement and as contact point.
- Further establish a pan-SSA network of relevant ROs and use communities to promote transfer and adoption of CEANGAL outputs from the initial project region (Malawi) to other LIC regions, and foster collaboration.
- Training of relevant community and other end-users to ensure project sustainability and increased local capacity.
- Wide dissemination of the CEANGAL progress/project outputs to regional and community stakeholders.
Bio: I am an efficient team player, and Electrical Engineer with 8+ years of experience in energy management, green energy, and intelligent utilities with well-honed skills in electrical installation, troubleshooting, power analysis, and system protection with proven experience of success in both technical field operation and academic research.
I gained my master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) from Sharda university India from August 2018 to June 2020, focusing on micro-grid, smart cities, energy management, system protection, operation, and optimization. The final dissertation was on the protection strategy of a micro-grid. my area of interest also spans the digitalization of power utility as I was part of the graduate student who took part in the study and implementation of a SCADA Network for the power distribution system in the University. An extensive study was also carried out on the existing campus distribution system network (33kv/11kv) to maximize energy management and integration of the 1MWp rooftop solar infrastructure on campus. This gave me a more robust insight into the HV and LV substation equipment thereby creating a smooth synergy between academics and industrial exposure.
Having gained a good amount of experience in the field starting as a field support engineer to a technical team lead with a reputable telecommunication infrastructural provider IPT PowerTech group. As a field engineer, I installed and maintained solar hybrid systems for remote telecommunication sites to optimize operating expenditure and generate cleaner energy for power base stations. I have been involved in the design, and implementation of several renewable energy projects on a small, medium, and large scale.
Differential Protection and Adaptive Overcurrent Protection for Micro-Grid