Lessons learned: NREL Village Power Program
This paper, Lessons learned: NREL Village Power Program, describes the lessons National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) staff gleaned from their participation in various pilot projects under its Village Power Program.
These lessons are intended to help the Renewable Energy-Based Rural Electrification (RERE) community in implementing sustainable projects that lead to replication.
NREL’s Village Power Program was established to assist in the renewable energy for rural electrification effort by developing and supplying six related activities:
- resource assessment,
- comparative analysis and modeling,
- performance monitoring and analysis,
- pilot project development,
- internet-based project data,
- communications, and training.
At the time the report was published, NREL was active in 20 countries, with pilot projects in 12 of those countries. At this time the technologies include photovoltics, wind, biomass, and hybrids. The rural applications include home lighting and communications, water pumping, schools and health posts, battery charging stations, ecotourism, and village systems.
These pilot projects are central to the renewable energy village power development through the demonstration of three aspects critical to replication and implementation of the projects on a significant scale; technical functionality, economic competitiveness, and institutional sustainability.