Category Solar Lighting

Case Study of Tanzania-Barriers to Solar PV Technology Transfer in Mwanza, Tanzania

Barriers to adoption and use of solar based lighting in Mwanza, Tanzania are shown in Table 5.4 [12].

5.6.1 Solar Home System in Botswana: A Case Study

In Botswana, more than 70% of the country’s population lives in rural areas. They depend mainly on traditional agriculture and pastoralism for their livelihood. Lack of access to on-grid electricity forced them to use fuel-based lighting systems.

To address the issue of energy poverty among rural communities, the Botswana Government initiated several programs for rural electrification [13]:

1. Promotion of solar energy by the Botswana Government,

2. Integration of grid and non-grid technologies,

3. Identification of an appropriate institutional framework for rural electricity using renewable energy,


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Barrier to Consumer Acceptability of Solar Powered Lighting

UNEP and several agencies of different governments are aggressively encouraging the use of solar lighting systems in their countries particularly in the rural com­munities to reduce the GHG emission and global warming. However, a plethora of factors are inhibiting the rapid development of solar home systems. It is therefore necessary to identify the barriers to penetration of solar lighting system and address concerns of consumers to boost the solar lighting market.

Table 5.4 Barriers to adoption of solar PV technology in Mwanza, Tanzania


Degree of importance

Methodology to redress issues

Limited awareness of, and experience with


Increase the understanding of solar PV

PV technology and 12 VDC


technology to the large community


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Reactions to Solar Powered LED Lighting Systems

Solar powered LED lighting is shown to be cost-competitive compared to fuel – based and solar powered CFL lightings. Other benefits of LEDs are (1) ruggedness, (2) significantly longer service life compared to competing electric light sources. Despite the potential benefits of LEDs, market forces are likely to spur innovation in solar LED lighting options for the off-grid populations of Tibet. Villagers were asked to compare the solar powered LED lighting with the traditional CFL bulbs and diesel lamps.

1. The strong directionality of LED light was a major complaint.

2. Villagers welcomed greater luminance LED lightings.

3. Villagers placed a high value on the daily operating time and power consumption.

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Findings of the Project

1. The success of solar powered CFL is dominated by the solar panel and battery components and scale with the power output needed.

2. The retail costs of these systems to the end user are often prohibitive. As a result, the potential for these systems has remained highly dependent on subsidy.

3. The local market for solar home systems in Tibet is largely driven by subsidies from the federal government.

4. A consumer market for solar home systems exists in the city of Lhasa, but its sales volume did not appear comparable to the subsidized market.


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Case Study for Solar LED Lighting in Tibet

Despite the high rates of electrification in China, 25-30 million people remain without access to electricity. Fuel-based lighting has shown to be significantly more costly than solar powered CFLs and solar powered LEDs alternatives. Thus, there is a need to explore off-grid technologies for lighting in China. In this case study, they examined the lighting pattern in the off-grid population in rural regions of the province of Tibet (see Table 5.3) [11].

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Economics of LED Lighting

In remote areas, the high cost of kerosene can consume much of a family’s income. One lamp consumes 0.04-0.06 L/h, and the daily usage of three to four hours burn time. One liter of kerosene per week times $1.00 USD = $52.00 USD per year (see Table 5.2). The amount of light from the lamp is only about 0.2% of what the people in industrialized countries have for the same price. Furthermore, these lamps use kerosene, which has to be imported and is expensive or often unavailable in rural areas.

Kerosene lighting is far more expensive than electric lighting. The cost of useful light energy ($/lumen hour of light) for kerosene is 325 times higher than inefficient incandescent bulbs, and 1,625 times higher than compact fluorescent light bulbs [11].

Table 5...

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Solar Powered LED Lighting

CFL is considered as outdated technology and people are looking for new, smarter, energy efficient options. LED light bulbs are the most ideal replacement bulbs that can achieve natural light results (without UV rays and no flickering) and are truly environment friendly.

LED lighting technologies use Light Emitting Diodes. A diode is the simplest semiconductor device. Broadly speaking, a semiconductor is a material with a varying ability to conduct electrical current. As current passes through the LED, the materials that make up the junction react, and white light is emitted.

LEDs are considered to be the future low power consumption lighting sources to the urban on-grid population, while solar powered LEDs provide clean lighting to rural off-grid communities [6]...

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Disposal of Spent CFL Lamps

Disposal of burned fluorescent lamps is a major concern that needs to be addressed. The European Commission Regulation—August 2005, Waste Elec­tronics and Electrical Equipment Directive bans lighting containing mercury from landfills. In 2006, the EU set a target recovery rate of 80% of the mercury used.

In the USA, regulations of mercury containing luminaires vary considerably between states. Some states have banned incineration of lamps, and others have banned lamps from landfills. In California, all fluorescent lamps must be recycled. Some states have established a collection scheme whereby householders can deposit spent lamps at some retail stores.

Some Asian countries have lamp endorsement labels that impose maximum mercury content...

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