Skip Navigation Links.

Search for publications:

Limit search to the fields

ECN publication
Experience with solar home systems in developing countries : a review
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy in the Built Environment 1-1-2002
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--02-001 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications (John Wiley & Sons Ltd.), , 2001, Vol.9, p.455-474.

Solar Energy is widely perceived as a promising technology for electricitygeneration in remote locations in developing countries. It is estimated that 1.3 million solar home systems had been installed by early 2000. An estimated one-third of installed systems were backed by foreign donor support in government programmes and two-thirds supplied by commercial dealers. The estimated growth in the deployment of solar lanterns is less than for SHS. One out of every 100 households that gain access to electricity in developing countries uses solar power. In spite of these successes, doubts have arisen about the effectiveness and suitability of small PV systems for rural development. Many organisational, financial and technical problems appear to present difficulties. A literature survey has been conducted to make an inventory of experience with solar PV applications for households in developing countries. The main finding is that an adequate service infrastructure is required to make projects viable. Household choice in system sizes is often too restricted in donor-funded projects. Smaller systems sold for cash can be a good alternative to credit systems by offering to increased affordability. Gaps in existing knowledge have been identified, which could be overcome by field monitoring programmes.

Back to List