ECN publication
Financial sustainability of PV implementation in Swaziland
Published by: Publication date:
ECN 1-10-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--01-050 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: 17th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Munich, Germany, 22-26 oktober 2001.

During the past 10 years, more than 700 Solar Home Systems have beenimplemented by this project in Swaziland, southern Africa. The implemention process started with household energy surveys, the results of which showing significant energy needs for cooking, lighting and basic communication applications (i.e. radio/TV), particularly in rural areas. An implementation project of Solar Home Systems was set up to start rural electrification with solar PV and focused on lighting and small electrical demands. The national government, whose own resources were limited, supported the project as an important step towards addressing the country?s range of energy needs. Together with a local company, Swazitronix, a joint venture was established to facilitate the implementation project. With a project loan from the Dutch social bank, the Triodosbank, standard Solar Home Systems were sold, assembled, installed and serviced. Customers paid the full cost of their PV systems and services. Awareness and education issues also formed key aspects of the project. During a later project phase, credit financing instruments were introduced providing a final element of experience crucial to future project implementation. The project?s relative success and experiences (i.e. 82% loan repayment rate, detailed review of the causes behind loan defaults, and monitoring survey results) are detailed herein, providing valuable lessons regarding financial sustainability, the linchpin of successfull PV mplementation.

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