Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.720986
Title: An evaluation and development of the potentials of photovoltaic systems for water pumping and electricity services in rural areas of Nigeria
Author: Onasanya, Mobolaji
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 1377
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
Rural electrification has been a priority for many governmental and international donor organisations. Grid extension and various renewable energy technology (RET) options are recognised as viable means of providing enhanced energy and water services to isolated rural communities, and these have been successfully deployed in many regions across the world. In Nigeria, decentralized energy generation systems based on solar PV systems are often used to meet the low energy demands of rural areas and they have also been widely adopted for water pumping purposes in these places. However, the failure or underperformance of many of these installations is in stark contrast to their theoretical viabilities as asserted in many academic papers; this suggests deep underlying problems. Such failures have discouraged government and policy makers from supporting solar PV and, as an extension, other forms of RE projects as viable options for isolated rural locations, even when grid extensions to these places often remain economically and practically challenging. Hence, whereas a number solar PV projects have been implemented in rural communities in the country, appraisal of their success and failures has moved at a much slower pace. Evidence is needed, not only about the factors that contribute to the deployment of these RE installations, but also on issues that took place after such installations have been completed: if the technology fulfils people’s needs and priorities, if the equipment remained in working order and for how long, and the particular and general decisions and actions that may have contributed to the success or failure of the installations. The aim of this study is therefore two-fold. Firstly, to reveal and understand the fundamental issues and factors that mitigate against the proper deployment, diffusion and performance of solar PV installations in isolated rural locations in Nigeria and, secondly, to develop a framework and set of recommendations that could lead to improved deployment processes and better performance of such installations. In order to understand and address these fundamental issues, a systematic analysis of relevant literatures on renewable energy technologies and technology diffusion is initially undertaken. In addition, multiple methods including site visits, observation and physical evaluation of installations, interviews and discussions with stakeholders and key players, and seven exploratory studies of rural communities are utilised to collect primary data on the performance and effectiveness of solar PV installations. Thirty-Eight indicators across five core sustainability dimensions of Technical, Economical/Financial, Environmental Impact, Social-Ethical Development, and Institutional Development and Government Policies are used to assess and evaluate the study cases, revealing diverse and interconnected pre- and post-installation factors that contribute to both successful and failed installations. A main finding of the study is that involvement of private energy providers in the deployment and running of solar PV installations in rural communities in the country is more effective than the sole use of government agencies or contractors. It was also revealed that a number of factors including weak or absence of post-installation maintenance arrangements, non-existence of local representative authorities, failure to enlighten local residents on limitations of the installation and to train them on basic maintenance practices, weak implementation and low success of government policies, weak institutions and overlapping functions of government agencies impacted negatively on the performance of the installations. In addition, the study provides insights into the interrelationships between the factors; how the presence or absence of some can strengthen or weaken others. Finally, a framework and set of recommendations are generated that could support improved deployment procedures and enhanced performance of solar PV installations in rural communities. Although the study deals with the Nigerian situation, some of the findings can be readily extended to other developing countries with similar challenges in the provision of energy and water services to isolated rural communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.720986  DOI: Not available
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