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Government Sponsored Solar Demonstration Projects

Government demonstrations have been widespread and documented in over 130 countries. The traditional importance of such demonstration has been to provide initial momentum for this still-young technology. Most early demonstrations were successful, and/or guaranteed by PV and associated equipment manufacturers. Many of the very-early demonstrations failed, due to improper design and/or installation. Both successes and failures have proven to be valuable over the long term.

Early successful demonstration spurred and immediate, and long term commercialization boost, often leading to the of birth local PV infrastructural components. These included new installers and repair personnel, component dealers, balance of systems manufacturing and local codes regulating installations.
Many failed demonstrations, although immediately detrimental to PV industrial expansion, found new life after system shortcomings were corrected. The long view is valuable in the case of PV demonstration failures. Of the 130 countries investing in PV demonstration, over 80 are now regular purchasers of PV modules. Conventional logic is that all countries will eventually be regular purchasers of PV systems, with strong internal installation and repair infrastructures in place.

Current proponents of largescale PV demonstration include the U.S. D.O.E.(PVUSA & PV BONUS), the Indian government and the World Bank.(ASTAE, China, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc.)
©S.K. Lowe1996-2000

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