This session is devoted to the design of schemes for the large-scale dissemination of renewable energy technologies in developing countries. Market-based mechanisms overcome partly the limits of donor aid-projects. They build on public-private partnerships where a network of local entrepreneurs contributes to the maintenance of systems.
The example of solar home systems will be explained. Even if there are in many instances in parity with fossil fuels, small photovoltaic systems remain unaffordable for the majority of rural inhabitants without proper financial support mechanisms. But in the most active countries, the number of systems disseminated is now in the range of several ten thousands to several hundred thousands systems, thanks to the implementation of rural energy services companies.
Recent technological innovation could contribute to the acceleration of the diffusion of solar photovoltaic. The innovation introduced by the massive diffusion of mobile phones in developing countries tends simultaneously to create new markets for small photovoltaic systems and could improve the conditions for the diffusion of these systems by facilitating the daily management of these systems by rural energy services companies. Furthermore, Light Emitting Diodes (LED) technology opens new perspectives of self-sustained market diffusion.
The implementation of small rural energy services companies can also help to disseminate a wider range of products: LPG, cookstoves, biodigesters... New practices from rural energy providers tend to target more precisely the demand of end-users by combining the offer of photovoltaic systems with a variety of technologies to satisfy other energy needs than basic lighting in rural areas.
Concrete case studies from the dissemination of different renewable energy technologies in developing countries will be presented, notably in Zambia, South Africa, Bangladesh, China...
It will conclude with the institutional and regulatory framework that needs to be implemented to help rural energy services companies to thrive even in the most remote areas of developing countries.