Analysis of Solar PV Energy Systems for Rural Villages of Nekemte Area, Oromiya Region, Ethiopia
Currently, the main energy source used in rural areas of Ethiopia for cooking and heating is unprocessed biomass and fossil fuel such as kerosene, paraffin and petrol/diesel. These energy sources generate large volume of indoor air pollution that increases the risk of chronic diseases. Solar energy is the most practical and economical way of bringing power to poor and remote communities in the long-term and Ethiopia is strategically located in a maximum sun shines hours zone. This study assessed the potential of a solar PV power system to provide the required electricity for a rural community near Nekemte city in Oromiya regions of Ethiopia. The sunshine hour’s data was obtained from the National Meteorological Service Agency (NMA). Results showed an abundant (average) solar energy potential of 5.52 KWh/m2/day. Electric load for a single household, school and clinic was estimated at 313, 2064 and 2040 Wh/day respectively. The cost of energy from solar PV system was estimated at about $1.2/kWh, $0.92/kWh and $0.87/KWh for household, school and clinic respectively. The findings encourage the use of the PV systems to electrify the remote sites of Ethiopia considering it long-term benefits and less cost of installation compared to national grid extension to the remote sites.
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