Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Generation

Training and Field Support Toolkit

Biomass Power
Geothermal Power
Hydroelectric Power
Solar Electric
Wind Power

This Toolkit is intended to help USAID mission staff and national decision makers understand and assess the relevance of policies and programs that have been used successfully in support of large, grid-connected renewable energy development. The toolkit highlights key issues that must be addressed in the design of a renewable energy framework, and seeks to explain key concepts. Basic information is provided on renewable energy technologies, but the toolkit is designed for policymakers, not engineers. However, the toolkit contains extensive references to other sources that contain more technical detail.

What is meant by the term “large, grid-connected renewables?”

The term “renewables” covers a variety of resources and technology applications that have different policy and infrastructure needs including: Biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind. Renewable energy resources have the common characteristic that they are non-depletable or naturally replenishable within a short timeframe. Large refers to the relative size of the projects and varies with the technologies. For purposes of this toolkit, generally we are talking about projects greater than 10 MW, though for photovoltaics we are referring projects greater than 1 MW and for hydroelectric greater than 20 MW. “Grid-connected” means the projects are feeding power into the electricity grid.

What does the Toolkit contain?

This Toolkit is made up of six presentations that include extensive notes and references. These slides may be used in a presentation format, in which case the notes may be more detailed than is appropriate for an oral presentation. However, the notes may be used as a self-tutorial educational tool. The notes of each slide build upon the information in the previous slide to provide analysis of the related subject matter. In addition, each slide contains references providing additional information for those interested in pursuing these topics in greater depth. The six modules included in this toolkit are:

Overview Module – includes an overview of renewable technologies and discussions of economic factors, barriers and policy strategies necessary to overcome the barriers common to most large grid-connected renewables.

Five technology modules provide greater detail concerning each technology, technology specific issues and approaches to overcoming these issues as well as a summary of best practices for development of that technology. The technology modules include:

In addition, the toolkit includes two case studies that illuminate some of the policy and technology issues discussed in the modules:

Finally, the toolkit includes an electronic reference library. The bibliography is your guide to this library with links to each document. The reference numbers in the notes section of the slides correspond to the bibliography’s document numbers for quick reference. Included in this reference material is an abbreviations and acronyms list.