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A policy proposal for the introduction of solar home systems in East Timor

journal contribution
posted on 2007-12-01, 00:00 authored by M Bond, Robert Fuller, L Aye
The Government of East Timor aims to increase the rate of household electricity service from 20% to 80% over the next 20 years. With a largely rural population living in sparsely populated, remote locations, solar home systems (SHS) will play an important role in meeting the off-grid component of rural electrification in East Timor. This paper describes current experience and trials in East Timor with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. It examines the East Timorese context against six 'key features' identified by the World Bank as typically included in solar PV projects: delivery infrastructure; access to finance; rural electrification policy; guarantees for minimum quality; understanding of customer needs; and scaling up capacity building. Of these issues, the authors contend that selection of the delivery infrastructure model is the most critical decision, and that for East Timor, in its present stage of development, a market-driven approach for SHS is unlikely to be successful. A model which subsidises capital costs but seeks full recovery of operating costs is recommended. Irrespective of the delivery infrastructure model, for sustainability, capacity must be developed in a range of other areas, particularly the commercial availability of high-quality components and spare parts; creation of a pool of skilled technicians for installation and maintenance; and development of a robust fee collection and maintenance infrastructure.

History

Journal

Energy policy

Volume

35

Issue

12

Pagination

6535 - 6545

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

0301-4215

eISSN

1873-6777

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Crown Copyright

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