The rapid industrialization and fast growth rate in several world economies within, the past three decades has led to tremendous increases in the consumption of the conventional energy resources such as wood, oil and natural gas. The nonrenewable nature’, 7 of these’sources and the adverse effects their exploitation could pose to life, property and theenvironment are some of the factors leading to the current efforts to reseafdl ‘< and develop renewable and alternative energy resources such as solar energy. Amongst – these alternative energy options is PHOTOVOLTAICS – the direct conversion of solar” ‘ energy to electricity. This paper draws attention to the fields of application in which Photovoltaics can cost effectively meet the energy requirements of rural communities Ilacking grid or diesel generator power supplies. The problem and prospects of this new, – technology are brought into focus from the point of view of Systems Costs, materials -, -. development, efficiencies of operation, and adequate institutional.support.
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