Modeling peer-to-peer negotiations between energy prosumers in developing regions
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The past decade has seen a rapid uptake of distributed, variable renewable energy (VRE) solutions by many end-users to meet their daily electricity requirements. Yet, many household consumers are unable to afford the high cost of these generating systems, like solar PV systems and batteries. The problem is particularly acute in developing regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where approximately 592 million (more than half of the total population) live without access to electricity. To address this challenge, this thesis studies the use of automated negotiations as a local peer-to-peer (P2P) electricity trading mechanism to improve the accessibility and affordability of electricity in weak grid and off-grid regions. The research stems from the need to utilise available local renewable energy sources (RES) and innovative market structures to improve electricity access in weak and off-grid settings. It thus studies how the surplus electricity generation from off-grid solar PV systems (as installed in Nigeria, the most populous electricity-deficit country in the world) can be utilised to improve and increase access to electricity. To achieve this, we propose the design of a novel automated negotiation framework for use in such local P2P electricity markets. This includes the design of an ‘Alternating Offers’ automated negotiation framework for a fully decentralised P2P electricity market, as well as the design of an automated negotiation framework for a centralised community-based P2P electricity market utilising Nash bargaining solution and the Egalitarian social welfare function. It also includes a study of the appropriate multi-agent systems models (i.e., pieces of software that can automatically negotiate the buying and selling of electricity in micro-transactions on behalf of their human owners). With a simulated daily minimum surplus PV generation of 2 MWh/day to a maximum surplus of 31 MWh/day for the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Kano, 20 MWh/day for Lagos, and 15 MWh/day for Port Harcourt, this research shows how this surplus unutilised PV generation can potentially power 10,000 – 155,000 Tier-2 households or 2,000 – 31,00 Tier-3 households, daily. This is an estimated annual 3,500 – 30,000 Mt of CO2 emission savings if utilised instead of fossil-fuel generation. Our proposed frameworks also show that with an estimated annual revenue of approximately $250 – $2,550 depending on the size of the installed system, the prosumer peers would be able to maximise the utility from their installed systems and reduce their payback period. Likewise, the consumer peers would have access to more sustainable, reliable, and affordable electricity.