Economic viability of photovoltaic power for development assistance applicationsThis paper briefly discusses the development assistance market and examines a number of specific photovoltaic (PV) development assistance field tests, including water pumping/grain grinding (Tangaye, Upper Volta), vaccine refrigerators slated for deployment in 24 countries, rural medical centers to be installed in Ecuador, Guyana, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and remote earth stations to be deployed in the near future. A comparison of levelized energy cost for diesel generators and PV systems covering a range of annual energy consumptions is also included. The analysis does not consider potential societal, environmental or political benefits associated with PV power. PV systems are shown to be competitive with diesel generators, based on life cycle cost considerations, assuming a system price of $20/W(peak), for applications having an annual energy demand of up to 6000 kilowatt-hours per year.
Bifano, W. J. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)