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close this bookBasic Electrification for Rural Households (GTZ, 1992, 28 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the document1. Background information and recommendations
View the document2. Photovoltaics as an energy option for rural areas: benefits and over all social and economic context
Open this folder and view contents3. PV systems for supplying electric power to rural households
View the document4. The demand situation of potential shs target groups
View the document5. Criteria for assessing the economic feasibility and financing options for solar home systems
Open this folder and view contents6. An appropriate dissemination strategy for shs and the role of GTZ
View the document7. References

4. The demand situation of potential shs target groups

The energy needs of rural households which could be met by SHS can be characterized as follows:

- Nearly all households require lighting for about 4 hours each day. At present, the bulk of this demand is being met with candles and kerosene or oil lamps.

- Most households own a radio which provides entertainment and information (often with a built-in cassette tape player). These devices are powered by dry-cell batteries, and usually at least four 1.5-volt cells are used each month.

- Most rural households still do not own television sets, but those who do usually have 1 2-volt black-and-white sets which are powered by car batteries.

The demand structure can of course vary from region to region, and sometimes from community to community as well. However, based on our experience it can be assumed that in most developing countries the structure of household electricity demand in rural areas will conform more or less to the following pattern:

- One group, comprising some 20 % of the households, would need electric power for lighting only. As a rule, these households have very low incomes.

- A second group, accounting for the bulk (approx. 70 %) of rural households, is the most varied. This "middle class" of rural energy consumers is already using several lamps per household, at least in the upper income brackets, and many households have radios and cassette players as well.

- A third group of consumers - making up roughly 10 % of all rural households also owns a TV set and is usually willing to make relatively large outlays to recharge and periodically replace the car battery that is used to operate it.

It is difficult to place an upper limit on these groups' expenditures for non-cooking energy - and thus on what they would be willing to spend if this energy were supplied by an SHS - since highly subjective considerations often determine how much of an individual household's income will be used to operate lamps and home entertainment equipment. For instance, many say that they would be willing to spend more for better light. However, on the basis of past consumption patterns it is difficult to predict with any certainty how many would actually decide to purchase a better product to meet their lighting needs. Obviously, any figures that one might give here are bound to be only very approximate estimates, but based on our own survey data and other information on rural energy use in developing countries it can be assumed that the monthly expenditures of rural households for lighting and entertainment range between about 3 US$ (Group 1) and 18 US$ (Group 3) (see Table 1).

To sum up, the electric power needs of rural dwellers are as follows (average values):

Table 1: Energy Use in Rural Households

a) Current non-cooking demand

Group 1:

(poorest segments of the population)

- Lighting (kerosene, candles)

4 hours/day

Group 2:

(middle-income groups)

- Lighting (kerosene, candles)

6 hours/day

- Radios (dry-cell batteries)

6 hours/day

- Cassette players

6 hours/day

Group 3:

(high-income groups)

-Lighting (kerosene pressure lamp)

8 hours/day

-Radios and cassette players

(dry-cell batteries)

3 - 5 hours/day

- Televislon sets (car batteries)

4 hours/day

b) Current non-cooking energy consumption and costs incurred

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Percentage of rural population




Daily non-cooking energy consumption

0.1 kWh

0.2 kWh

0.5-0.7 kWh

Current monthly expenditures for nor-cooking energy

3-4 US$

7-9 US$

12-18 US$

c) Possible monthly payments for an SHS that would meet the households' current non-cooking energy demand (assumed interest rate: 7 %)

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Size Of panel

20 Wp

50 Wp

100 Wp

Based on present costs

7.00 US$

11.00 US$

19.50 US$

Based on possible future costs

6.60 US$

8.60 US$

16.00 US$