Lessons Learned: NREL Village Power Program

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This resource provides a summary of lessons learned through the NREL Village Power Program, which helped provide assistance for rural community electrification in 20 countries around the world.  The lessons cut across the Village Power projects and identify common themes that apply to all rural communities who are starting to develop off grid applications and pilot projects for electrical power.  The lessons learned can assist any rural community starting the energy transformation process by understanding best practices and potential pitfalls.  This resource provides useful information on engaging the right people, evaluating technical options, selecting appropriate financing strategies, and understanding the effectiveness of a program.


The lessons learned pertain to the development of rural electrification programs and are categorized in 4 main areas: (1) Institutional aspects, which reflect the support required through planning, partnering, program design, and execution of a village power program (2) Pilot project characteristics, which describe performance, technology selection, and deployment considerations (3) Implementation process, which discusses the duration, administration, and types of solutions to consider for a village power program (4) Operational issues, which summarizes best practices to ensure pilot project success through metering, maintenance programs, and demand side efficiency.  

Environmental Aspects

International governments and utilities had a desire to improve rural electrification using renewable energy sources. 

Related Tools

The HOMER tool was developed as a result of this project's research, to allow for the analysis of multiple renewable technology options to support rural  community electrification.


  1.  "Lessons Learned: NREL Village Power Program"