Assessment of the Impact of PV-Systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development: The Case of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Desalegn Jara Godibo


Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have shown their potential in rural electrification projects around the Wolaita Zone, especially concerning Solar Home Systems (SHS). With continuing price decreases of PV systems, other applications are becoming economically attractive and growing experience is gained with the use of PV in such areas as social and communal services, agriculture and other productive activities, which can have a significant impact on rural development. There is still a lack of information, however, on the potential and limitations of such PV applications. The main objective of this study is, therefore, to contribute to a better understanding of the potential impact of PV systems on sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD), especially concerning income-generating activities in Wolaita Zone. In addition, to identify the potential contribution of PV to rural development in order to gain further financial and political commitment for PV projects and programs and to design appropriate PV projects to study area. The preparation of the present study represents Solar photovoltaic systems, through their flexibility in use, offer unique chances for the energy sector to provide “packages” of energy services to remote rural areas such as for rural health care, education, communication, agriculture, lighting and water supply. It is hoped that this document contributes to the generation of ideas and discussions among the different institutions involved in providing these services to rural areas in Wolaita Zone to overcome affordability (cost of the technology relative to farmer income levels), awareness (knowledge about the technology), accessibility (options for obtaining the technology), and lack of customization (capacity to match farmer needs with technological solutions).

Keywords: solar energy; photovoltaic; rural development; income generation; agriculture

DOI: 10.7176/JETP/11-4-01

Publication date:July 31st 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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