Implementation of solar system for electricity generation for rural farmers: A review

Peter Makinde 1, * and Esther Obikoya 2

1 Environmental Studies, Voinovich School of Public Service, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
2 Department of Natural Resources and Sciences, School of Engineering, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt., Arcata, California, USA.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 458–471
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1705
Publication history: 
Received on 27 April 2024; revised on 03 June 2024; accepted on 05 June 2024
Solar energy offers a promising renewable alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based electricity generation for powering agricultural activities in remote rural areas. Several studies have demonstrated the technical and economic feasibility of photovoltaic, solar thermal, and hybrid solar systems for various on-farm applications such as water pumping, crop drying, greenhouse heating. These systems provide clean energy for irrigation, milling, cooling, and mechanical operations to improve productivity. When integrated with battery storage, solar also enables electrification and lighting in off-grid farms. The upfront capital cost of solar installations has been reducing significantly, and various incentive programs have enhanced the affordability for smallholder farmers.
However, adoption of solar energy in the agriculture sector still faces certain challenges. Lack of adequate financing options and initial higher costs compared to conventional fuels limit widespread deployment. Technical skills are required for installation, operation and maintenance of these systems. Seasonal variations and uncertainty of solar resources necessitate proper system sizing and integration with demand patterns. Policy support through subsidies, tax benefits and financing schemes can help address these barriers. With the declining price trends and increasing reliability of solar technologies, the potential for energy access and economic gains from solar power in rural agriculture appears promising.
Solar Energy Systems; Photovoltaics; Solar Thermal; Biogas; Irrigation; Water Pumping; Crop Drying; Greenhouse Heating; Electrification; Productivity; Fuel Displacement; Emissions Reduction; Economic Viability; Technology Performance; Affordability; Financing Options; Technical Skills; Resource Variability; Seasonality; Policy Support;
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