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Solar photovoltaic programme implementers in the Asia-Pacific region

Urmee, T. and Harries, D. (2009) Solar photovoltaic programme implementers in the Asia-Pacific region. Modern Energy Review, 1 (1). pp. 44-46.


The benefits of providing access to electricity for low-income households and communities in rural and remote areas in developing countries in terms of alleviating poverty, health, education and improving quality of life are now so well recognised and accepted that they no longer need to be listed seriatim. They are so significant that the successful implementation of rural electrification programmes in such countries is seen to constitute a major vehicle for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Of the various options available for providing these communities and individuals with access to electricity, the use of stand-alone renewable energy systems offers several advantages. It avoids the need to construct costly power lines, does not result in local air pollution and overcomes the need to use diesel or petrol generators, therefore protecting against rising fuel prices. For these and other reasons, the use of renewable energy systems, and stand-alone solar photovoltaic (PV) home systems in particular, has come to represent a sustainable low-cost approach for the implementation of rural electrification programmes.

As the role that these renewable rural electrification programmes play in alleviating poverty and providing social and economic benefits is so critical, the question of how to plan, design and implement solar home system (SHS) programmes to ensure that they are as successful as possible, thereby maximising the use of the scarce resources available, is one that has received much attention over the past 15 years. As a result of this effort, these programmes have evolved from simple technology demonstration projects with no capacity for being either replicated or sustained to programmes that have the explicit aim of expanding and reaching as many rural households as possible. Within this evolution there have been two landmark developments. The first of these was the development by the World Bank1 and the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS) group2 of best practice or recommended practice guidelines for these programmes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Publisher: Touch Group
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