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Towards robust investment decisions and policies in integrated energy systems planning: Evaluating trade-offs and risk hedging strategies for remote communities

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journal contribution
posted on 05.01.2021, 11:33 by MR Quitoras, P Cabrera, PE Campana, Paul Rowley, C Crawford
© 2020 Policy and investment decisions in developing clean energy strategies for remote communities are subject to multiple uncertainties that impact overall strategy outcomes, including those related to environmental emissions and energy costs. In this context, robust modeling approaches are required that can clarify potential outcomes while subject to such uncertainties. This work introduces a novel modeling framework that enables enhanced decision making in energy systems planning for remote communities, which for the first time takes into account context-specific decision-maker attitudes towards multiple inter-related uncertainties and various energy solution philosophies. In particular, multiple energy system configurations are evaluated by simultaneously minimizing the levelised cost of energy and fuel consumption, with a test case for a specific community in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The concept of model robustness and validity together with the stochastic nature of uncertain parameters are combined in a multi-objective optimization framework that elucidates the full spectrum of energy solutions available in such a remote Arctic context. Introducing known uncertainties in renewable energy characteristics was found to reduce overall energy yields from the renewable energy technologies. Specifically, the deterministic renewable energy penetration of 69% from a specific energy system configuration reduced to a mean of 51% after the inclusion of uncertainties via probabilistic simulation. Conversely, diesel fuel consumption increased to 750,000 L/yr (mean) from its initial deterministic value of 447,470 L/yr. Holistic energy solutions which include both supply and demand-side considerations are also analyzed. Specifically, a reduced community domestic heating load of 40% was achieved via retrofit of high performance building fabric enclosures evaluated in conjunction with renewable energy supply options. Ultimately, insights and real-world applications have been synthesized to provide coherent recommendations on strategies to address energy security, energy affordability and environmental sustainability, along with meaningful propositions towards Indigenous community-led energy projects in a range of contexts.


Polar Knowledge Canada and the Marine Environ617 mental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

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Energy Conversion and Management






AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Elsevier

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Energy Conversion and Management and the definitive published version is available at

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Dr Paul Rowley. Deposit date: 2 January 2021

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