Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Distributed energy systems

In rural areas in developing countries there is today often a lack electricity. This could be solved in many ways and in the long run perhaps it is likely that there will be a mix of distributed and local energy systems. However, we are not there yet and electric grids are either severly lacking in coverage and quality or non-existent. Thus the other solution is to use small-scale distributed solutions, as many developing countries are in tropical areas the potential for photovoltaic solutions should be great.

Today photovoltaic cells suffer from two main problems, low efficiency and high costs. In the aforementioned context high costs is the main problem. Large research efforts are done in these areas and more cost efficient large-scale manufacturing of photovoltaic cells should be here soon. Bringing the generation of electricity closer to the end-user would bring large advantages from a technical point of view, but also when considering standard of living. Electricity in rural areas would bring better opportunities for schools and medical care. But also would help with another huge problems in these areas, clean water. The (cheap) electricity could be use for pumps and for cleaning water.

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