Solar PV is one among other low carbon technologies for rural electrification in Sub
Saharan Africa (SSA). Solar PV systems have for almost 30 years been disseminated in
SSA, resulting in more than half a million installations concentrated in a few countries.
While PV systems have technically matured and markets have gradually developed, PV
for rural electrification has often been perceived with scepticism from potential users,
donors, government officials and researchers, and solar PV has in many camps been
labelled as donor driven, expensive and fragile technology mainly serving the richest
parts of the populations and with little or no value for productive uses.
However, feasibility for solar PV has improved in the last few years. Retail prices for
solar photovoltaic modules are reduced by 20-30% since 2001, and although far from
the peak in 2008, oil prices in the next two years to come are expected to settle at a level,
which is about three times the world market average in the years from 1985-2003.
Therefore, rather than being limited to a niche for populations living in dispersed
settlements outside the reach of grid electrification, solar PV is expected to play an
important role in mini grid rural electrification schemes based on hybrid solar PVdiesel
generators. This may bring PV systems in line with fossil fuel based systems in
terms of consumer cost and options for productive use and it changes the market for PV
from mainly donor supported schemes into mainstream rural electrification schemes
governed and financed by electric utilities and rural electrification agencies.
Based on a literature review and the experience with a full scale hybrid wind/PV diesel
system at RISØ DTU, this paper provides cost estimates for hybrid PV-diesel systems
and policy recommendations to change the application of PV technologies for
development in SSA.
|Conference||Risø International Energy Conference 2009|
|Period||14/09/2009 → 16/09/2009|
|Series||Denmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R|
- Climate and energy systems
- Cleaner energy and sustainable development