With decreasing prices, Photovoltaics (PV) systems represent a rapidly emerging source of electricity in the World. When traditional grid-connected PV systems have rapidly progressed and have now reached the 100 GW-mark of production capacities worldwide, Pico PV and hybrid systems could represent the future of off-grid PV systems for rural electrification.
Solar Pico PV systems have experienced significant development in the last few years, combining the use of very efficient lights with sophisticated charge controllers and efficient batteries. Pico PV allows providing essential services, such as lighting, phone charging and powering a radio. Expandable solar Pico systems have entered the market, allowing extra services to be connected.
With decreasing PV prices, PV / diesel hybrid mini-grids attract significant attention from institutions in charge of rural electrification and donor agencies. They allow mitigating fuel price increases, deliver operating cost reductions, and offer higher service quality than traditional single-source generation systems.
The working group of the Photovoltaic Power Systems Program of the International Energy Agency (IEA PVPS) focusing on the "Deployment of PV services for Regional Development" has published two new studies:
Pico Solar PV Systems for Remote Homes
This publication is focused on the Pico PV systems technology and its applications. The study approaches on one hand the demand of the market, and on the other hand the nature and supply of the products, their economics, and experience with various business models. There are clear lessons for the roles that should be played by governments, donor bodies and others in the markets for Pico PV products and services as well as recommendations for the sustainable benefits for the users. Download the full report here: http://www.iea-pvps.org/index.php?id=1&eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=1433
Rural Electrification with PV Hybrid Systems
This publication aims to present the state of the art situation of PV / diesel hybrid systems for rural electrification and to highlight the main remaining issues – from the design, technical and implementation perspectives. It focuses on lessons from past experiences and provides guidance to decision makers when considering solar PV hybrid systems to address rural electrification needs. Issues relating to system sustainability and effective deployment are also examined. Download the full report here: http://www.iea-pvps.org/index.php?id=1&eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=1590
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