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Solar Home Systems in Ho Chi Minh City: A promising technology whose time has not yet come

Baulch, Bob and Do, Thuy Duong and Le, Thai-Ha (2015): Solar Home Systems in Ho Chi Minh City: A promising technology whose time has not yet come.

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This study examines the constraints to the uptake of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. SHS are photovoltaic systems which generate electricity for residential properties. The limited numbers of SHS installed in HCMC are mostly on‐grid systems with backup batteries to supply electricity during evenings and/or power cuts. Semi‐structured interviews with SHS installers, manufacturers and users, plus government agencies and technical experts identify policy constraints and the cost of systems as major constraints. Cost‐benefit analysis is then used to estimate the payback period for three representative SHS. Raising residential electricity prices and introducing net metering or a feed‐in tariff could dramatically shorten the payback periods for SHS. In the next five years, these and other expected changes to the electricity market will make SHS more finally attractive than at present. SHS also have the potential to generate supplement electricity during peak times, thereby diversifying and greening the energy mix. SHS therefore represent a promising technology for HCMC in the future.

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