Alternative Energy Options for India— A Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Rank Energy Alternatives using Analytic Hierarchy Process and Fuzzy Logic with an Emphasis to Distributed Generation

  • Sanjeev H. Kulkarni KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum-08, Karnataka, India
  • Bhairu J. Jirage KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum-08, Karnataka, India
  • T.R. Anil KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum-08, Karnataka, India
Keywords: Renewable energy, sustainability, multi-criteria, decentralized, fuzzy sets, electrification


Several studies have been performed in last many years as to which type of energy source would be suitable for extending energy access for remote rural areas. Energy planning using multi-criteria analysis has attracted the attention of decision makers for a long time. Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) techniques are attractive in problems having multiple and conflicting objectives. This article develops a methodological framework providing insights to suitability of multi-criteria techniques in the context of operation energy alternatives namely Central Grid/Grid Extension, Solar Home Systems and Microgrids in India. The model was built using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with empirical data from various sources. Several parameters like generation cost, price, losses, reliability, capacity, availability, and constraints (geological/local) were investigated. Based on the scheme developed by Saaty—the AHP and Fuzzy Sets using MATLAB these multi-criteria are evaluated and compared. The analysis were carried out under two scenarios namely—environment and cost. Finally alternatives for energy generation were ranked based on the AHP and Fuzzy logic. The results indicate that MICROGRID is the ideal choice among the alternatives for energy generation in a decentralised way and is a possible solution for eliminating energy poverty.

Author Biographies

Sanjeev H. Kulkarni, KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum-08, Karnataka, India

Mr. Sanjeev H. Kulkarni, corresponding author, is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at K.L.S. Gogte Institute of Technology Belgaum under Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, Karnataka, India. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and has done his masters (M. Tech) in Energy Systems Engineering. His fields of interest include renewable energy systems, energy strategy and management, wind energy systems, fluids and biomass gasification. Email:

Bhairu J. Jirage, KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum-08, Karnataka, India

Mr. Bhairu J. Jirage is a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics at the K.L.S. Gogte Institute of Technology Belagavi, Karnataka, India. He has done M.Sc from Karnataka University Dharwad in the year 2009 and since then is in teaching profession His field of interest includes Applied Mathematics and presently he is working on Numerical Solutions of Hydrodynamic Lubrication (NSHL) as part of his research work. E-mail:

T.R. Anil, KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum-08, Karnataka, India

Dr. T.R. Anil is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at K.L.S. Gogte Institute of Technology, Belgaum, Karnataka, India. His Ph.D. is in the area of producer gas carburetor under Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belagavi. Presently he is guiding research students in the field of biomass gasification, turbochargers and in the field of renewable energy. His fields of interest include biomass gasification, fuels for IC Engines, renewable energy, etc. E-mail:


TERI -The energy report– India, 100% renewable energy by 2050, A report by WWFIndia

and The Energy and Resources Institute 2013

REN 21 Global Status Report 2014:


AU -Akshay Urja—Feb 2014 13, monthly Magazine published by—MNRE, New

Delhi, India.

GREEN-2014—India Renewable Energy Status Report—Global Renewable Energy

Summit, June 2014, FKCCI, Bangalore, India

Garg P., Energy Scenario and Vision 2020 in India, Journal of Sustainable Energy &

Environment 3 (2012) 7-17

Twelfth Five year plan-India, Sustainable growth, Economics, Social Factors—Planning

Commission (GOI) 2013, Sage Publications India Ltd, New Delhi

Report of The Working Group on Power for Twelfth Plan (2012-17), GOI, MOP, New

Delhi March 2013

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Annual Report 2012-2013,” annual-report/2012-2013/EN/chapter5.html.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE), “Empowering Rural India the RE

Way: Inspiring Success Stories.2012”

NSSO—Energy Statistics 2013, Central Statistics Office, Ministry Of Statistics And

Programme Implementation (MOSPI), Government Of India, New Delhi, www.,

Kaundinya D.P., P. Balachandra, N.H. Ravindranath, Grid-connected versus standalone

energy systems for decentralized power—A review of literature, Renewable

and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13 (2009) 2041–2050

Hiremath R.B., Bimlesh Kumar, P. Balachandra, N.H. Ravindranath, B.N. Raghunandan,

Decentralized renewable energy: Scope, relevance and applications in the Indian

context, Energy for Sustainable Development 13 (2009) 4–10

International Energy Agency (IEA), 2012. Understanding Energy Challenges in India—

Policies, Players and Issues, Partner Country Series Supporting Energy Access

in India, World Energy Outlook, IEA (International Energy Agency). 2012 http://

Kirsten Ulsrud, Tanja Winther, Debajit Palit, Harald Rohracher and Jonas Sandgren,

“The Solar Transitions research on solar mini-grids in India: Learning from local

cases of innovative socio-technical systems,” Energy for Sustainable Development

, no. 3 (September 2011): 293-303

Akanksha Chaureya, Tara Chandra Kandpal, Assessment and evaluation of PV based

decentralized rural electrification: An overview, Renewable and Sustainable Energy

Reviews 14 (2010) 2266–2278

Kamalapur G.D. Udaykumar R. Y., Rural Electrification in the Changing Paradigm

of Power Sector Reforms in India, International Journal of Electrical and Computer

Engineering (IJECE) Vol.2, No.2, April 2012, pp. 147~154, ISSN: 2088-8708 _ 147,

Journal homepage:

Dinkelman, Taryn. 2011. The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New

Evidence from South Africa. American Economic Review 101, no. 7:3078-3108.

Khandker, Shahidur, Hussain A. Samad, Rubaba Ali, and Douglas F. Barnes. 2012.

Who benefits most from rural electrification? Evidence in India. Policy Research Working

Paper, 6095, World Bank.


Barron, Manuel, and Maximo Torero. 2014. Short Term Effects of Household Electrification:

Experimental Evidence from Northern El Salvador.20. Kenneth Lee, Eric Brewer, Carson Christiano, Francis Meyo, Edward Miguel, Matthew

Podolsky, Javier Rosa, Catherine Wolfram, “Barriers To Electrification For

“Under Grid” Households In Rural Kenya ,” Working Paper 20327, NBER Working

Paper Series,, National Bureau Of Economic

Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, July 2014

REC 2013 Rural Electric Corporation.

Sanjeev H. Kulkarni, Anil T.R., “Status of Rural Electrification In India, Energy Scenario

and People‘s Perception Towards Renewable Energy Technologies,” Strategic

Planning for Energy and Environment-SPEE, Taylor and Francis, TnF Online, Summer

, Vol. 35 Issue-01.

Kenichi Imai, Debajit Palit, Impacts of Electrification with Renewable Energies on

Local Economies: The Case of India’s Rural Areas, Working Paper Series Vol. 2013-12

Kemmler Andreas, Factors influencing household access to electricity in India. Centre

for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE), Swiss Federal Inst of Tech. 2006.

Rockefeller Foundation, “Smart Power for Environmentally-Sound Economic Development,”

August 2011, –smart –

power -environmentally-2.

Dinesh C. Sharma, Transforming rural lives through decentralized green power, Futures

(2007) 583–596,

Debyani Ghosh, Ambuj D. Sagar and V.V.N. Kishore, “Scaling Up Biomass Gasifier

Use: An Application—Specific Approach,” Energy Policy 34, no. 13 (September 2006):


Najmul Hoque and Barun Kumar Das, “Analysis of Cost, Energy and Emission of

Solar Home Systems in Bangladesh,” International Journal of Renewable Energy

Research 3, no. 2 (June 2013): 347-352.

Oda and Tsujita, “The determinants of rural electrification.”; Nouni et al., “Providing

electricity access to remote areas in India.”; Harish et al., “When does unreliable grid

supply become unacceptable policy?

Woodrow-Rural Energy Alternatives in India:, Opportunities in Financing and Community

Engagement for Renewable Energy Microgrid Projects, Report of Princeton

University’s Woodrow Wilson School Feb 2014

M.R. Nouni, S.C. Mullick and T.C. Kandpal, “Techno-economics of micro-hydro projects

for decentralized power supply in India,” Energy Policy 34, no. 10 (July 2006):


Chaureya Akanksha, Malini Ranganathana, Parimita Mohanty, Electricity access for

geographically disadvantaged rural communities—technology and policy insights,

Energy Policy 32 (2004) 1693–1705

Central Electricity Authority CEA-2014, Executive Power Summary September2014:

Solar on Rooftops—Cost of Solar Power in India—Over Rs 15 per KWh.” Energy

Alternatives India, July 12, 2009.


Central Electricity Authority, 2012, (CEA) Government of India, “Growth of Electricity

Sector in India,” 2012.

Central Electricity Authority, 2013, (CEA) “Progress Report of Village Electrification,”

October 31,


Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), “Source of Lighting: 2001-2011.

Ministry of Power, Government of India(MNRE), “Rural Electrification Policy,” The

Gazette of India, 2006,

Aumnad Phdungsilp and Teeradej Wuttipornpun, Decision Support for the Selectionof Electric.

Tegou, L.I.; Polatidis, H. & Haralambopoulos, D.A. (2010). Environmental management

framework for wind farm sitting: Methodology and case study. Journal of

Environmental Management, Vol. 91, pp. 2134-2147, ISSN 0301—4797

Polatidis H, Munda GV. Selecting an appropriate multi-criteria decision analysis

technique for renewable energy planning. Energy Sources 2006;1:181–93.

Pohekar SD, Ramachandran M (2004) Application of multi-criteria decision-making

to sustainable energy planning–a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 8:365–381

Saaty TL (1980) The analytic hierarchy process. McGraw-Hill, New York

Saaty RW (1987) The analytic hierarchy process–what it is and how it is used. Math

Model 9:161–176

Saaty TL (1996) Decision-making with dependence and feedback: the analytic network

process. RSW Publications, Pittsburgh

Cheng EWL, Li H (2005) Analytic network process applied to project selection. J.

Constr Eng Manag 131:459–466

Oberschmidt J et al (2010) Modified PROMETHEE approach for assessing energy

technologies. Int J Energy Sector Management 4:183–212

Wang J–J et al (2008) A fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making model for trigeneration

system. Energy Policy 36:3823–3832

Wang J-J, Jing Y-Y, Zhang C-F, Zhao J-H. Review on multi-criteria decision analysis

aid in sustainable energy decision-making. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews


Wang M et al (2010) The comparison between MAUT and PROMETHEE. In: IEEE

international conference on industrial engineering and engineering management

(IEEM), 2010, pp 753–757

Greening LA, Bernow S (2004) Design of coordinated energy and environmental

policies: use of multi-criteria decision-making. Energy Policy 32:721–735

Diakoulaki D, Karangelis F (2007) Multi-criteria decision analysis and cost-benefit

analysis of alternative scenarios for the power generation sector in Greece. Renew

Sustain Energy Rev 11:716–727

Cavallaro F (2010) A comparative assessment of thin-film photovoltaic production

processes using the ELECTRE III method. Energy Policy 38:463–474

Eric W. Stein, A comprehensive multi-criteria model to rank electric energy production

technologies, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 22 (2013) 640–654

Rimal Abu Taha and Tugrul Daim, Multi-Criteria Applications in Renewable Energy

Analysis, a Literature Review, Research and Technology Management in the Electricity

Industry, Green Energy and Technology, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4471-5097-8_2, _

Springer-Verlag London 2013

Alexandre Barin, Luciane Neves Canha, Alzenira da Rosa Abaide, Karine Faverzani

Magnago, Breno Wottrich, Multicriteria Analysis of the Operation of Renewable

Energy Sources taking as basis the AHP Method and Fuzzy Logic concerning

Distributed Generation Systems, The Online Journal on Electronics and Electrical

Engineering (OJEEE) Vol. (1)—No. (1) Reference Number: W09-0011 52

Y.P. Cai, et al., “Planning of community-scale renewable energy management systems

in a mixed stochastic and fuzzy environment,” Renewable Energy, vol. 34, pp. 1833-

, 2009.

Li YF et al (2010) Energy and environmental systems planning under uncertainty–an

inexact fuzzy-stochastic programming approach. Appl Energy 87:3189–3211

Kahraman C, Kaya I (2010) A fuzzy multicriteria methodology for selection among

energy alternatives. Expert Syst Appl 37:6270–6281

Beccali M (1998) Decision-making in energy planning: the ELECTRE multicriteria analysis approach compared to a FUZZY-SETS methodology. Energy Conversion

Management 39:1869–1881