Renewable technologies for rural electrification in Colombia: A multiple objective approach

Diego Silva Herran, Toshihiko Nakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This study aims to present preliminary results from an integrated evaluation of electricity supply systems for rural areas using renewable energy technologies by means of a multi-objective decision making method Design/methodology/approach - Goal programming is applied to obtain the optimal system configuration meeting the electricity demand, based on the location's resource availability and taking diesel generation as the alternative of reference. The performance of the system is evaluated through four attributes: electricity generation costs, employment and two environmental impacts (CO2 emissions and land use). The model is designed for isolated rural area belonging to the non-interconnected zones of Colombia. Findings - Application of the method showed that biomass conversion technology has the highest potential and that renewable energy systems offer better performance than diesel generation. Reductions of more than 10 percent in unit electricity costs, land use rates and CO2 emissions can be achieved. Research limitations/implications - Inclusion of additional attributes and sensitivity analysis are matters of future research. Originality/value - The methodology used in this study is an alternative means to perform evaluation of electricity supply systems integrating several aspects of technology and which is flexible enough so as to enable the inclusion of a wider scope of interests towards energy access targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Sector Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May 1


  • Colombia
  • Decision making
  • Electricity industry
  • Energy access
  • Energy supply systems
  • Renewable energy technologies
  • Rural regions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Strategy and Management


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