Category Solar Lighting

Consumer Model

Information/awareness

• Awareness dissemination about the new lighting technology in rural communities.

• Community awareness program to help people understand how they can help themselves to maintain and use the system.

• Awareness program about the viability and reliability of solar powered LED lighting technology.

Cost Affordability

• If energy hub is used to provide the electricity to entire village, some credit system should be made available to help poor communities who have limited ability to pay.

• Micro-credit system with extremely low interest as up-front cost of solar system is required for rural population who are beyond the paying capacity.

• They may be allowed to make payment even on daily basis...

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Business Model

Finance Scheme

• Financing Institutions need to be educated about the nature, and future potential of renewable energy technologies—particularly local and regional commercial banks.

• Increased knowledge about these technologies can stimulate investment, lend­ing, and business.

• Rural financing scheme through the village body with adequate safeguards for repayments through peer pressures. A loan will be made available from the bank directly to the Village Committee, thus avoiding time and middle persons. However, such loan schemes should ensure that the consumer would be able to buy the solar system as per his requirements and choice.

Marketing—Subsidy/No subsidy

• With the Government subsidy, the solar system up-front cost can be made affordable and end users mostly in rural a...

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Acceptability of Solar Powered LED Lighting

Solar powered LED lighting technologies have a niche in rural areas that are off- grid and in most parts that have no availability of electricity. Therefore, focus should be on providing clean energy for certain productive uses across non-energy sectors and not solely for the sake of installing units. The success of any new technology depends on the viable business model and widespread adoption by consumers. Acceptable business and rural consumer friendly models are desirable to enhance the market share of solar powered LED technology. Figure 5.7 shows the proposed model to enhance the market share of solar powered LED lighting technology.

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USAID Project in the Philippines

In Philippines, USAID is developing off-grid renewable energy systems in 160 remote rural communities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim dominated Mindanao, through alliance with Mindanao off-grid Renewable Energy [19].

The program addresses specific barriers to widespread adoption of rural energy technologies. The barriers include:

1. Lack of awareness of the costs and benefits of renewable energy technologies.

2. Prevalent policy bias towards fossil fuels.

3. Lack of adequate financing and ability to pay, and limited institutional policy.

4. Lack of sectoral specialists in understanding how Renewable Energy Tech­nologies can be applied in their sectors, including health, education, agriculture, and information and communication technologies.

USAID addresses these barriers by overcoming ...

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Case Study of Vientiane, Lao PDR

1. Solar home systems and portable solar lamps are rented at prices lower than the expenditure on kerosene for lighting, so that families can save money by switching to solar PV [18].

2. Uses a carefully selected and trained network of franchises to install and maintain the solar PV equipment, and each franchise trains technicians in the villages to perform the day-to-day maintenance.

3. Rents equipment to the Village Energy Committee (VEC), which is selected by the whole community, and the VEC leases it to individual households.

4. Community is responsible for setting prices, collecting rents, and performing basic maintenance.

5. Larger village systems provide power to community services such as health systems and water pumping.

6...

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Case Study of India

In India, 46% of the population, mostly the rural community, has no access to electricity. Fuel-based lighting, Kerosene lamps, are used for illumination, con­tributing to global warming and also causing serious health problems. In this context, solar photovoltaic systems offer a good alternative for electrification in the rural and remote parts of India [16, 17]. However, several issues need to be addressed to improve the acceptability of solar photovoltaic systems by the rural population.

1. Absence of government subsidy programs. Solar photovoltaic home systems are too expensive and unaffordable by rural inhabitants.

2. No awareness of solar photovoltaic systems and their benefits.

3. Lack of marketing network in rural parts.

4. Reliability of solar photovoltaic system.

5...

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Case Study of Egypt and Zimbabwe

Although renewable energy technologies have made progress in Egypt, it has been limited to technology development, demonstrations, and very little commerciali­zation. Effective market penetration of renewable energy technology has been

Table 5.5 Case study of Zimbabwe

Barrier

Causes for barrier

Degree of barrier

Economic and financial

Cost of installation and after-sales services are very high. Estimated to be about 30% of the total costs of PV systems.

High capital cost and lack of financing mechanism

Major barrier-I

Awareness/information

Awareness of the applications of solar photovoltaic systems is very low.

Major barrier-IV

Technical barrier

Lack of access to technology, inadequate maintenance facilities, bad quality product Lack of skilled manpower and...

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Case Study of Morocco

The project is to provide 101,500 rural households in all regions of Morocco with photovoltaic kits (75.7 WP (watt peak)) along with the basic installation for domestic electricity use (bulbs, plugs) during the period 2004-2008 to enable them to meet their basic energy needs.

Barriers to achieve final goal are listed as [14]

1. Investment Barrier: The main barrier to large-scale adoption (in rural areas where it is most appropriate) is the economic factor.

2. Technical Barrier: The performance uncertainty, the low market share of the solar photovoltaic technology, the low ability of local technicians to deal with maintenance problems, and after-sales services contribute to reduce the reli­ability of the solar PV systems.

3...

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