Feasibility of an Off-Grid Renewable Energy Source for the Mercantile Sector
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Increased CO2, a Greenhouse Gas (GhG), emission and its accumulation in the atmosphere is a major climatic concern, creating an urgent need to control its rate of growth with the goal to reduce or reverse the growth. Reduction is being attempted at macro scales (large GhG producers but relatively small in number), at mezzo levels (mercantile stores which are large in numbers and relatively large consumers in scale) and at micro scales (individual dwelling units which are very large in number but relatively small on a GhG producer scale). This research identifies the strategies and challenges of adopting an off-grid renewable energy source for the mercantile sector (retail) at the mezzo level. A theoretical model for an off-grid renewable energy source considering a parking lot of a retail outlet was developed. In future work, a proposed physical model should be able to test the assumptions and hypothesis of the theoretical model presented. The proposed hybrid system uses two or more alternative renewable energy sources. In the proposed system, solar energy is integrated with a local bio gas plant, which treats waste to produce electricity. The excess energy can be sold to grid using net metering or dual metering or sold to charge plug-in vehicles to earn revenue. The renewable energy produced reduces the grid load on public utilities, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 emissions from the grid providers, thus bridging the current grid dependent system and a grid-independent (off grid, or net zero) goal.
author list (cited authors)
Malhotra, V., Fernández Solís, J. L., Lavy, S., & Neuman, M.