The role of off-grid houses in the energy transition with a case study in the Netherlands

Diego F. Quintero Pulido*, Marnix V. Ten Kortenaar, Johann L. Hurink, Gerard J.M. Smit

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    132 Downloads (Pure)


    Off-grid houses can be considered an important concept to increase the access to electricity throughout the world. Although there are quite some initiatives in place to improve the access to electricity, the implementation rate of practical solutions is far below the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Energy (SDG 7) + for 2030. This situation is most apparent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the current trends of electricity access calculated by the World Bank indicate that this region will not be able to achieve the SDG 7 target. Another worldwide trend which may help to increase electricity access is that currently, a lot of renewable energy generation is realized locally in houses (especially Solar Photovoltaics (PV)). This paper reviews the recent developments to increase the access to electricity in the world and the implementation of off-grid houses in different scenarios. The focus here is on the different efforts to create off-grid houses considering their challenges on a macro and micro level. Moreover, potential research directions for technologies in off-grid houses are presented in more detail. For this, a case description of a possible off-grid house in the Netherlands is presented together with some initial simulations results for this case using solar PV, the Sea-Salt battery, and a Glycerol Fuel Cell. The simulations use the DEMkit software and the analysis is performed using measured house load data for a period in winter and in summer.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2033
    Number of pages18
    Issue number10
    Early online date27 May 2019
    Publication statusPublished - May 2019


    • Electricity access
    • Glycerol fuel cell
    • Off-grid house
    • Sea-salt battery
    • Solar PV
    • Sustainable development goals


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