Cover Image
close this bookPhotovoltaic Household Electrification Programs - Best Practices (WB)
close this folderAnnex 1 : ASTAE case studies in PV household electrification
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIndonesia
View the documentSri Lanka
View the documentThe Philippines
View the documentThe Dominican Republic
View the documentConclusions


1. The Asia Alternative Energy Unit (ASTAE) commissioned four case studies of solar PV program experience, in order to review the experience and performance of solar PV rural electrification in selected countries and provide guidance for future solar PV programs. Field investigations were conducted to: (a) determine the technical performance of installed residential PV systems; (b) examine the management systems and field performance of the organizations responsible for these installations and their capacity to implement expanded programs; (c) assess credit programs and revolving funds to finance solar PV purchases; and (d) evaluate the sociocultural benefits of the affected households and communities.

2. This Annex and Table 1 summarize these case study reports of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. PV programs in these countries ranged from government-sponsored programs, such as the BANPRES Project in Indonesia, to virtually no government involvement in promoting solar home systems, as in the Dominican Republic. Despite different implementation approaches, a number of common themes emerged. Each country has a large rural population without electricity service and a utility that lacks the financial and institutional resources to serve many of these rural communities. The solar PV programs have involved a rural organization such as a rural cooperative or grassroots NGO, government agencies or private firms. These organizations offered access to credit, supplied products and provided maintenance and support services. Credit shortages were listed as one of the major constraints to a broader use of PV in most of the programs. Affordability was limited as loans, when available, carried high interest rates and/or short repayment periods. While government-sponsored programs offered subsidized credit, funds were limited and cost recovery was poor. All of the programs incorporated training and maintenance support, but there were deficiencies. Typical PV module sizes of solar home systems ranged from 15-Wp to about 50-Wp and systems were mainly used to supply lighting and power for a radio or TV.

Table 1A. Summary Evaluation of Experiences in ASTAE Case Study Countries Institutional Evaluation


Dominican Republic


Sri Lanka


Organizational structure

ADESOL is an effective umbrella organization for manufacturers, technicians and entrepreneurs; good communication among solar home system organizations.

Key agencies including cooperatives, technology development, planning, energy, banking, etc.; participated in BANPRES project. Multiple agencies made communication difficult at times.

Solar home systems disseminated independently by private sector, NGOs and government agencies.

Bilateral program administered effectively; worked with local NGOs and Rural Electrification Cooperatives (RECs).

Market strategy

Solar PV market independent of rural electrification programs.

Site identification based on electric utility 5-year grid- extension plane. Longer range grid-extension plan not available at that time, but is currently available.

Customer selection was not formally coordinated with the electric utility. Private and NGO marketing used information from regional utility offices.

Strategy was to offer minimum power supply in unelectrified clusters, increasing the demand for electricity and area covered, until grid extension became viable economic alternative.

Information dissemination

ADESOL promotes PV technologies in rural areas; solar home system installers train consumers in load management/ maintenance.

PV technology promoted on the village level by cooperatives.

Private sector conducts own information dissemination programs. Government and NGO programs organized village demonstrations to educate potential users of PV technology.

Solar PV marketed as a "pre- electrification" option.

Sustainability of institutional structure

ADESOL is dependent on donor funds to seed the revolving funds. Private sector receives training from ADESOL.

Program dependent on government assistance for institutional support and to seed revolving fund.

Private sector depends on commercial sales. NGOs require seed funding their revolving funds. Gov't programs used public & bilateral funds.

Programs were dependent on bilateral financial and technical support, but administering agencies were existing institutions.