HL Deb 26 June 1979 vol 400 cc1476-7WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are engaged in studies or pilot projects concerning the installation of photovoltaic energy systems and other dispersed solar technologies in developing countries with large rural populations, and if so, where and on what scale, and what is the future market for such systems expected to be.


Her Majesty's Government are not currently engaged in specific studies or pilot projects aimed solely at the installation of photovoltaic energy systems in developing countries. However, photovoltaic cell development being supported by the Department of Industry provides for the evaluation of functional systems under equatorial conditions. The Overseas Development administration is funding several studies and research and development projects in other solar technologies. These include the development of a small solar powered refrigerator at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok; a simple cheap solar water heater at the University of Sierra Leone; a small stationary steam engine powered by solar energy (day) and other fuels (night); an assessment of the costs of solar mechanical conversion; and the preparation of information papers on solar water heaters and solar water pumps.

The market for solar systems in rural areas in developing countries is likely to increase but it is difficult to quantify at present.