Sustainability of off grid photovoltaic systems for electricity access of small enterprises in the least developed countries

Gül Ö.

International Journal on Energy Conversion, vol.9, no.5, pp.203-214, 2021 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.15866/irecon.v9i5.20553
  • Journal Name: International Journal on Energy Conversion
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.203-214
  • Keywords: Business Model, Developing Countries, Electricity Access, Micro Grid, Off-Grid Photovoltaic
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 Praise Worthy Prize S.r.l. All rights reserved.Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa suffer from a lack of access to electricity. It has to be supplied to the impoverished population with a reasonable tariff. Achieving this goal requires a carefully planned business model for micro grid. A micro grid simulation is provided in this study in order to demonstrate its effectiveness. Set in Burkina Faso, the micro grid has included solar panels to take advantage of Africa’s potential for solar energy. The maintenance of the solar panels is paramount for smooth operation because of sandstorms. Dust accumulation on top of the solar panels would result in shortages throughout the grid. The simulation has been performed using an industrial load to provide services to the region. The observation from this simulation has been the relatively costly electricity price caused by an uneven electric load. Another simulation has been performed with a mixture of industrial and residential loads, which has provided positive results. An optimal business model for the project has required a two-step solution involving a separate introduction of industrial and residential loads. A long-term plan of a main grid integration has been also part of the business model of this simulation. The integration to the main grid generates additional revenue by selling the excess electricity. Sustainable provision of affordable electricity to the population has been shown to be possible with a fitting business model, while improving the economic and the living conditions of the region.