Rev. Phys. Appl. (Paris)
Volume 15, Numéro 3, mars 1980
Page(s) 369 - 376
Rev. Phys. Appl. (Paris) 15, 369-376 (1980)
DOI: 10.1051/rphysap:01980001503036900

Comparison of costs for solar electric sources with diesel generators in remote locations

F.K. Manasse

Vice-President, AETA Corporation and Associate Director, Integrated Energy Systems Division, Center for Industrial and Institutional Development, University of New Hampshire, U.S.A.

This paper looks specifically at three alternative sources for generating power in remote regions of the world. These include diesel electric, photovoltaic and solar thermal electric devices. Fuel cost, and more specifically, transportation costs of that fuel, dramatically change which device will be most cost effective over a ten year period under specific conditions. In areas where fuel is readily available, diesel still appears to be the best alternative financially. Even today, however, solar thermal generators appear to make sense in a number of realistic scenarios, especially those involving LDCs. Photovoltaics do not yet seem to be competitive, but technical advances may in fact change this in the future. Cultural factors must also be taken into account when choosing a device. These comparisons are all represented graphically and numerically in the body of this paper.

8610K - Solar energy.
8250 - Solar power stations and photovoltaic power systems.

Key words
solar electric sources -- diesel generators -- solar thermal electric devices -- solar thermal generators -- solar power stations -- economics -- photovoltaic energy conversion