Smart Grids and Renewables: A cost-benefit analysis guide for developing countries


October 2015
ISBN : 978-92-95111-75-2

Smart grid technologies support the creation of an increasingly flexible electricity grid, enabling the integration of variable renewable energy. They work by incorporating information and communications technology at all stages of power generation, delivery and consumption, improving reliability and service to end-users.

Smart Grids and Renewables: A Cost-Benefit Analysis Guide for Developing Countries offers insights and decision-making guidance to ensure successful smart grid implementation. Following up on IRENA’s 2013 assessment of the role of smart grids in renewable energy integration, the guide presents a customised methodology for developing countries to assess the costs and benefits of smart grids for each particular scenario. While social benefits outweigh the costs, some of the benefits need to be internalised to enable utilities to invest in the transition.

The accompanying annex provides exercises to demonstrate the methodology and illustrate the value of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) on smart grids for renewable energy deployment.

The guide and annex come as part of a Power Sector Transformation package from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Key words: International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, IRENA publication, renewable energy, smart grids, developing countries, cost-benefit analysis, CBA, costs, benefits, integration, variable renewable energy, VRE, power generation, power delivery, power consumption