In this paper, a general methodology for designing carbon-neutral residential communities is presented. Both energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies are considered in the design approach. First, energy end-uses for the buildings within the community are optimized based on a set of cost-effective energy efficiency measures that are selected based on a life-cycle cost analysis. Then, renewable energy technologies are considered to meet the energy needs for the residential community and ensure carbon-neutrality on an annual basis. The methodology is applied to design optimal and carbon-neutral hybrid electrical generation systems for three Kuwaiti residential communities with different sizes and energy efficiency designs. For Kuwait, it is found that wind turbines can cost-effectively generate significant electricity to meet most of the energy needs for the residential communities and thus reducing the country's reliance on fuel-based power plants. Specifically, it is found that wind turbines can generate electricity at a cost of $0.068/kWh well below the current grid power production costs of $0.103/kWh. Moreover, the analysis indicates that concentrated solar power (CSP) can be utilized to achieve carbon-neutral residential communities but at a levelized energy cost of $0.13/kWh slightly lower than the current grid power generation and distribution costs of $0.133/kWh.

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