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Solar PV Electrification Programs in Developing Countries: Towards an Holistic Approach

Urmee, Tania (2009) Solar PV Electrification Programs in Developing Countries: Towards an Holistic Approach. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Rural renewable electrification programs are increasingly being used as a means of providing the rural poor in developing countries with access to electricity. Those programs have varied significantly in design and implementation, as well as in their degrees of success. The explanations for the lack of success and the non-sustainability of the earliest programs are widely accepted as these tended to be technical demonstration projects that relied totally on funding from donor organisations or governments. These projects ignored or overlooked the vital question of how ongoing operational, maintenance and replacement costs would be met. Many genuine programs, however, also met with limited success and much effort has been invested in attempting to understand the reasons for this lack of success. To increase the rates of success of these programs, best practice guidelines were developed. Despite these efforts, many programs have continued to meet with limited success. These points required better explanations of the reasons for program success and failure, which requires a greater understanding of these programs.
This thesis looks more closely at solar PV electrification programs being undertaken in the Asia-Pacific region to understand why some programs continue to be more successful than others. It aims to understand the decisions behind the planning and implementation of the programs and the reasons that are being implemented in the way that they are, the selection of program objectives, the actual benefits of the programs the and causes of any factors that contribute to their apparent success or lack of success. This understanding is obtained by undertaking in-depth comprehensive field surveys to obtain the views of all program stakeholders. The outcomes of these field surveys are then used to develop a comprehensive set of success criteria and a set of indicators that can be used to measure the success of rural renewable electrification programs. A roadmap that could be followed by the program planners and implementers to ensure program success is also provided.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Harries, David, Jennings, Philip and Schlapfer, August
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