Solar energy centre Off-grid rural communities PVSyst Solar home systems Income-generating activities
ROCHE, O.M. and BLANCHARD, R.E., 2018. Design of a solar energy centre for providing lighting and income-generating activities for off-grid rural communities in Kenya. Renewable Energy, 118, pp. 684-694.
One of the biggest challenges in the developing world is the provision of affordable and reliable electricity access to rural and marginalized people where grid extension is prohibitively expensive. Many off-grid schemes to date
have focused on household lighting with mixed success. Some of the greatest difficulties have been around affordability and sustainability of the service provided, with systems being abandoned or removed due to broken equipment or inability of the user to continue paying for the service. It has been reported that key to the success of the best programs
has been the means to improve the economic prospects of the users. In this paper the design of a solar energy centre for a rural village in Kenya, that enables income-generating activities for the community in addition to basic lighting and mobile phone charging provision, will be reported. We have found that it is possible to use the energy centre model to
provide power for activities that could offer a source of income for the community, at an affordable cost with equipment available in Kenya today. It is believed that this will allow the community to develop economically and therefore ensure the sustainability of the off-grid power supply.
This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
This work was part funded by UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Project: Solar Nano Grids.