Technology Innovations: Solar – Off-grid
Day: Tuesday, 6th October 2015
Time: 11:30 – 13:00
Room: Hall 1B
Photovoltaics (PV) solar technologies have been used for off-grid electrification for several decades. While the major share of the total global installed PV capacity (approx. 177 GW at the end of 2014) is grid-connected, off-grid PV systems have an important role to play in meeting energy access targets. Off-grid PV systems can provide electricity services for many different end-use applications, such as domestic and public lighting, telecommunication towers, and water pumping. Systems vary in size depending on their application and the electricity demand to cover.
While globally, off-grid PV installations account for a small share of the total installed PV capacity, more and more countries are creating support schemes and setting targets, in particular electrification targets utilizing PV. Some countries are implementing technology specific programs such as for SHS. At the regional and international level there has been a trend towards public-private partnerships and private ventures to improve energy access using renewable energy technologies. Large banking institutions such as the World Bank, as well as regional and national development banks, are investing considerable funds in sustainable energy access. Other mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund are available for renewable energy technology investments.
At the international level, the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are helping countries establish political and regulatory frameworks for advancing clean energy access, including micro-grids using PV.
Questions to be addressed by the session
- How can financial institutions and policy makers provide better access to financing, especially for the “base of the pyramid”?
- How can communities, planners, etc., define realistic, affordable and reliable, long term electrification pathways using solar PV systems for users without previous experience with electricity?
- How will access to the free basic alternative energy (FBAE) grants in South Africa change (these are not quite working and local authorities struggle to roll this out)?
- What policy mechanisms should be considered to encourage the dissemination of end-use technologies that complement off-grid PV supplies and improve efficiency (e.g. efficient lighting, low voltage DC appliances, etc)
- How should developers address communities’ fear that once off grid PV is installed, this means that the grid will not ever reach this area (and off grid PV is seen as inferior)? How can the perception that off-grid solar power is inferior to grid power be overcome?
- How will planners and developers manage the scaling up of energy services to meet increased demands, for example increasing PV systems from 1 to 5 KW?
- How should life-cycle challenges and the environmental impact of technologies be addressed (i.e. recycling, increased battery lifetime)?
- What should be done to ensure that systems are installed and maintained properly and operators are trained appropriately so systems operate as planned?
- Should there be more stringent standards for the technologies installed and should all countries meet quality standards and certification for technologies, installation and operation?
- Mr. David Renné, President, International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
- Ms. Mokgadi Modise, Chief Director, Department of Energy, South Africa
- Mr. Sifiso Dlamini, Director, NuRa, South Africa (tbc)
- Ms. Tania Roediger-Vorwerk, Deputy Director General, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany
- Mr. Klaus Maier, Corporate Development Manager, Mobisol, Germany
- Mr. Ernesto Macias, President, Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), Belgium