Renewable energy options for a rural village in North Korea

Dahyun Kang, Tae Yong Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The national electrification rate of North Korea is extremely low and the situation in rural areas is even worse. Thus, this study designs a virtual electrification project for a rural village in North Pyongan and compares an off-grid energy system and on-grid system in terms of net present cost (NPC) and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) to define the most cost-effective energy system. Using Hybrid Optimization of Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER), this study designs two off-grid systems that apply different types of batteries-lead-acid and lithium-ion energy storage systems (ESS)-and determines the NPC and LCOE of the most cost-effective system. Then, it calculates the NPC and LCOE of grid extension by adding necessary costs required for generation, transmission, and distribution. The result shows that the hybrid energy system (HES) of solar photovoltaic (PV), wind turbines, lead-acid batteries, and diesel generators is the most cost-effective option for the selected location. The range of breakeven grid-extension distance is from 9.69 km to 20.57 km. The sensitivity analysis based on different discount rates shows that a higher discount rate means a shorter breakeven distance. This analysis suggests that deploying an HES is one way to improve the electrification rate for remote and rural areas in North Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2452
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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