Planning the Development of Electricity Grids in Developing Countries: An Initial Approach Using Agent Based Models

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This paper presents a proof of concept model for the electrification process of developing countries. Considering the general needs and characteristics in those countries is important as they share factors far from the developed world situation. However, enough flexibility is included to allow implementation in individual countries with unique circumstances. To achieve a robust yet flexible model, Agent Based Modeling is utilized. The model is built in the NetLogo architecture, which combines user interphases and geographic information extensions for adaptability. The result is a tool that addresses a gap in the literature. Although models for developing countries exist, they fail to adequately capture the characteristics of their energy sectors. Agent Based Modeling allows the modeling of the electrification process through dynamic agents that do not focus on historical data or the normal development path followed by developed countries. The model's strength is in the ease of scenario building so that policy makers and researchers can see the impact of decisions on the overall process. This also allows the stakeholders to quickly and easily seek the paths desired based on their objectives and identify the catalysts needed for those results.

Research Areas: 
Agent Based Modeling (ABM)
Developing Countries
Electricity Grids
Publication Type: 
Conference Proceeding
Date Published: 
June 30, 2011
Persistent URL: 
DOI: 10.1109/ISSST.2011.5936875
Full Citation: 
Alfaro, Jose F. and Shelie A. Miller. “Planning the development of electricity grids in developing countries: An initial approach using Agent Based Models.” Proceedings of 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), May 16-18, 2011, Chicago, IL, 1-6
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