There are specific reasons why the provision of energy is difficult among Small Island Developing States (SIDS). These are: limited internal markets, limited availability of manpower and institutional capacities and limited integration of different sectors like the energy sector and others. With this, the alternative is to resort on other renewable energy sources like solar power for the process of generating energy and despite the insufficient levels of efficiencies.
Solar energy is quite common in SIDS as it is basically use for heating water and drying crops for consumption. Solar energy is also utilized different ways such as through photovoltaic systems to provide electric power in various remote islands and rural areas particularly in dispersed settings. In Kiribati, solar panels are installed atop health centres and radiotelephone sites. In French Polynesian islands and Tuvalu, photovoltaic modules are used to provide lightning needs of households. In Papua New Guinea, a hybrid of wind turbines and solar panels is used to provide independent power supply to a school. Jamaica makes use of photovoltaic systems to provide electricity to at least 45 households.
However, installing photovoltaic systems installations are challenged by the cost of materials. Donors compensate for lack of capital. There are also banks that provide loans and grant for the purpose of purchasing solar heaters. That is, when there are no donors or institutions to acquire loans, there will be no installations and hence there will be no electricity.
Further, the cost of a solar power system will definitely depend on the lifestyle and perceived electricity usage. Likewise, the cost will depend on specific factors. First, you have to determine the number of solar panels or modules you might need. You should also consider the type of photovoltaic panels that you will use. Panels are not created equally since there are panels that are more energy efficient. If you are going to choose these, then you are going to need fewer panels, which would cost less.
Nevertheless, the solar power decision also depends on the number of inverters you might need. Inverters are available in different sizes, which means that the cost of inverters will depend on the size of the solar power system you intend to create. One inverter will do if your household is small to medium in size but you may need two or more inverters if you have big household. The number of strings in your solar panel will determine how many inverters that you will need as well.
Finally, the total cost of the solar power will also depend on which mounting system you will use. You have the prerogative to place the solar power system in either the roof or the ground or other shaded structures. Depending on your decision, the cost of the solar power system will vary.
There are many uses of solar power systems as evident among many of the SIDS. However, the cost of a solar power system depends on the number of solar panels, number of inverters and mounting system type. The goal is to build a solar power system that fits your household requirement.