Field Monitoring of Solar Home System (SHS) conducted by NACCFL

NACCFL has successfully completed the major tasks/activities under the agreement between AEPC/ESAP for 11th Round Quality Assurance and Monitoring of Solar Home System in different remote areas of Nepal where electricity is distant dream for many families living there. Energy Sector Assistance Programme (ESAP) is program supported by Government of Nepal (GON), the Government of Denmark, the Government Norway and KFW.

Support to Solar Energy is one of a major component of ESAP, with the aim to support rural electrification through dissemination of Solar PV Systems. Solar Energy Component (SEC) of AEPC/ ESAP, in partnership with private companies has reached around 2496 VDCs of 73 NACCFL has successfully completed the major tasks/activities under the agreement between AEPC/ESAP for 11th Round Quality Assurance and Monitoring of Solar Home System in different remote areas of Nepal where electricity is distant dream for many families living there. Energy Sector Assistance Programme (ESAP) is program supported by Government of Nepal (GON), the Government of Denmark, the Government Norway and KFW.

Support to Solar Energy is one of a major component of ESAP, with the aim to support rural electrification through dissemination of Solar PV Systems. Solar Energy Component (SEC) of AEPC/ ESAP, in partnership with private companies has reached around 2496 VDCs of 73 districts of country providing subsidy through Rural Energy Fund to install more than 196,000 SHSs.   

The main goals of Solar Energy Support Programme are:

Ø  Support to rural electrification through SHS dissemination

Ø  Development and promotion of appropriate credit mechanism to increase affordability of rural poor to purchase SHS

Ø  Provide alternative lighting option to poorest rural population

Ø  Support to minimize the environment hazard

SSP activities are centered on promoting high quality and reliable SHS and maintaining service quality of SHS disseminated under the subsidy programme. Tasks included in Quality Assurance and System Monitoring Programme are components quality control service, quality control field monitoring and verification of SHS and detail technical field investigation of SHS. Field Monitoring and verification of installed SHS and detail technical field investigation are important activities of programme. Programme has been using the information collected from the field monitoring to evaluate company performance on different dimensions like quality of installation, performance of SHS, user’s expectation met, price and financing of SHS, degree of users awareness on information, after sales service, benefit to users from SHS etc, Based on evaluation, a retained subsidy (10%) Reduction Ratio is calculated to deduct the retained subsidy in a proportion to the company’s deficiency in fulfilling the committed after sales service. Companies are also penalized for the manipulations and offences they made. The evaluation also leads to grading companies in A, B, C. This certification helps companies to build a means of communication with prospective users as well as other stakeholders. It is expected that such a reward in terms of certification and penalty systems will promote dissemination of quality SHS and quality after sales services and discourage any manipulation or misuse of subsidy facility.

So with the goal to improve the living standard of the rural population through enhanced access and affordability to rural energy solutions that are efficient, environment friendly and that address social justice, NACCFL in partnership with AEPC/ ESAP conducted this field trip of monitoring of SHS to reinforce national framework for dissemination of quality solar energy systems. NACCFL successfully completed 16 field trips assigned to it, out of total 110 field trip in 11th Round Monitoring.

NACCFL had formed 8 teams with 2 members in each team. Each team included a Trained and Qualified Technician capable of visual evaluation and technical measurement of important parameters of Solar Home System and a Field Support Staff for data entry in the inspection sheet and database system. The team was led by The General Manager of NACCFL, Mr. Rudra Bhattarai himself as a team leader with good experience in planning, designing, analysis and reporting of technical or socio-economic surveys of rural development programs.  

In course of these activities, NACCFL as a consultant organization has come up with few recommendations to enhance electrification through SHS dissemination to support rural poor population.

  1.   Company should improve communication with the SHS users regarding providing the knowledge of SHS’s current status,   warranty claims and maintenance instructions and for the long term functioning of the system.
  2.   Most of the users do not have knowledge about subsidy being provided by the government.  Solar companies and concerned authorities must organize the awareness program on subsidy mechanism through local printing media and different users group. 
  3.   Company needs to aware the end users about the importance of each component used in SHS.
  4.   Company should develop and capacitate Local Resource Person from the community for maintaining SHS so that end users do not have to depend fully on solar company and someone who can act as an interpreter for easy communication between the inspection team and SHS users.
  5.   Some of the SHS users found being deceived by solar company in terms of pricing, after sales services and during maintenance. It can be reduced to some extent if local bodies or groups were involved in SHS distribution rather than individual dealing.

 

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