Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Flowers, L.
Description: In 1993, a workshop was convened at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to discuss the issues of applying renewable energy in a sustainable manner to international rural development. One of the summary recommendations was that NREL could 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. In response to this recommendation, NREL launched its Village Power Program consisting of these activities that cut across NREL technologies and disciplines. Currently NREL is active in 20 countries, with pilot projects in 12 of those countries. At this time the technologies include photovoltaics, 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. The three aspects are technical functionality, economic competitiveness, and institutional sustainability. It is important to note that the pilot projects from which NREL's experience has been gained were ...
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