Solar-based rural electrification policy design: The Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model in Fiji

Matthew Dornan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Solar photovoltaic technologies have for some time been promoted as a cost effective means of rural electrification in developing countries. However, institutional structures resulting in poor maintenance have adversely affected the sustainability of past solar projects. In Fiji, the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) program is the latest attempt to promote solar-based rural electrification in a fee-for-service model, aiming to remove the high upfront capital costs associated with solar technologies and using a public-private sector partnership for maintenance. This paper assesses the program using survey and interview data. Major flaws are identified, relating to incorrect treatment of principal-agent problems, information asymmetries, motivational problems, and resourcing of government agencies. General lessons for fee-for-service solar home system models emerge, including that incentives for stakeholders must take centre stage in designing and administering such programs, and that active government support and ownership are required to make programs sustainable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)797-803
    JournalRenewable Energy
    Volume36
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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