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Solar PV based rural electrification in Rema rural village

wellsee / 2011-09-19
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Solar PV based rural electrification in Rema rural village

Energy is a basic need for the overall growth and improvements of people’s living standard.But around 2 to 3 billion people in the world have no access to electric lighting.Like otherdeveloping countries the rural electrification in Ethiopia is very low and government takessome actions to promote the investment in these areas but due to economic constraints andlow level of technological advancement the growth is very low. This study focuses on solar PV based rural electrification, its impact on environment andsocio-economic development in Rema village.Three cases studies: typical households,small scale business center and public services are considered for systematic study.Interviews from villagers, existing energy system, literature data and HOMER software areused to calculate energy demand and cost of electrification.A comparison between theresults is carried out.According to the village survey the existing PV home system has a positive impact on a socioeconomic development of the village of Rema.


Solar PV electricity can be used in generatingincomes. It is also used for climate mitigation by curbing CO2 emission and can be used forclimate adaptation by reducing the deforestation and facilitate carbon sequestration. PVbased electrification of health center and schools have played a vital role in improving thequality of services. The presence of refrigerator helped to have vaccines and medicines4preserved for different types of killer diseases. The teaching-learning process of schoolsimproved due the presence of electricity. The solar powered water supply in near areasreduced the time required for fetching water and made girls to focus on their education.Most villagers has positive attitude towards the technology but unsatisfied with the currentsystem size. The high level of technical skills required for maintenance and the small numberof solar technicians’ available in the village is also a problem reported in the village.

HOMERsoftware is used to model the existing energy system and the required energy demandbefore PV based rural electrification and after PV based rural electrification. A new model isdeveloped depending on the villagers demand. . Modeling result shows that 3 kWP and 12kWP were found to be enough to fulfill the demand in clinics and schools with an initialinvestment of 18576 and 80704US$, respectively and a PV size of 165 Wp, 250 Wp and 350Wp is required for households with agriculture only, mixed and small scale business income,respectively. This led a requirement of initial capital of US$ 654, 1848 and 2339, respectively. However, these initial investments are unaffordable for most of the villagers.


PV systems required for households with agriculture only, has lower investment per Wattthan others, while investment per Watt for small scale business has lower than householdswith mixed type. Therefore, the battery size plays an important role in the investment,operation and maintenance costs.The two main problems associated with solar PV in rural electrification are financial capabilityand technical problems. These problems can be curbed by loan arrangement and trainingthe villagers. But to make sustainable it must be used for income generating activities.

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