In recent years, the use of the photovoltaic technology to
provide a minimum basic electricity supply to rural households in sparsely
populated areas of Third World countries has increasingly emerged as a genuine
alternative to conventional grid-based electrification. In order to succeed,
measures aimed at introducing this technology must be geared to disseminating PV
systems on a large scale and in turn creating marketing and distribution
mechanisms which are capable of meeting the demand on a long-term, sustainable
basis without any external assistance. Obviously, the first step in such an
undertaking is to define as precisely as possible the goals that are to be
achieved, covering the product which is to be promoted and the target group as
well as the structures that will be required to carry out the proposed
For some ten years now, GTZ has been involved in the
dissemination of photovoltaic systems for rural households in developing
countries, and we have carried out a broad range of projects in this field. The
results of this work have now been systematically compiled and analysed, and we
feel that an evaluation of GTZ's experience can provide a basis for the design
of generally valid approaches, i. e. strategies which can be applied in most if
not all rural regions in the developing world.
This publication documents in condensed form the principal
technical and economic findings of a comparative assessment of these projects
and summarizes field experience that is relevant for the design of pilot and
full-scale dissemination measures.
Initially, the discussion focuses on the various ways in which
the dissemination of PV systems can be integrated into the overall energy supply
planning process and on the general conditions that must be met in order for
this linking of technology diffusion and supply planning to be successful in
practice. Next we endeavour to specify and precisely define the roles of the
various actors in the dissemination process.
After this groundwork has been laid, we describe what an
organization like GTZ must do in order to ensure that PV systems can be
disseminated on a large scale and on a self-sustaining basis.
Thus, the aim of this working paper is to review the various
options that are available and the conditions that must be met in order for each
to be successfully implemented, and then, based on the results of this review,
to outline the essential elements of a realistic dissemination strategy.
In preparing this working paper, we received invaluable
technical support from other members of the GTZ headquarters staff and from our
project personnel in the field. We are especially grateful to our colleagues in
Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Colombia, Peru, Rwanda and the Philippines. In
numerous areas we were also able to draw upon an evaluation which had been
prepared for the Division by IPC GmbH, a Frankfurt-based consulting firm.
(Head of Energy Division 415 - Conservation of