The deployment of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has increased significantly in recent years thanks to their rapidly declining costs and supporting policies. Solar PV installations can be arranged in smaller configurations for mini-grids or personal use. This is of particular relevance in developing countries, where many residents need more accessible, affordable, and reliable electricity options. In many markets, self-consuming PV electricity is already more economically attractive than buying electricity from the grid.
In light of the increasing interest in rooftop solar PV, there is a need to raise awareness and understanding about its installation, particularly for residential use. To meet this need, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) with the generous support of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed a series of training materials on rooftop solar PV deployment.
The training material consists of nine recorded sessions of narrated explanations that are supported by illustrative infographics and animations. The series are creatively designed to be clear and engaging for lay audience to comprehend, so the learning can be applied to their own scenarios.
Throughout the whole series, audience can have a clear understanding of the following:
- why solar PV is a reliable option for residential electricity source, including its financial and socio-environmental benefits,
- types and components of a solar PV system,
- criteria for deploying PV systems,
- different setup connections of solar PV systems to meet users’ needs,
- aspects to consider when installing rooftop PV system to optimise its output,
- ways to quantify energy consumption,
- options for financing the system,
- the steps to install rooftop solar PV that includes working with a contractor.
With better understanding, individuals and communities can deploy rooftop PV systems to obtain affordable and reliable electricity. Furthermore, the training video also shows how solar potential assessment is an important aspect in increasing the deployment of solar PV.
In this regard, IRENA is supporting home, business owners, and municipalities in charting solar resources potential and data with a web application called the IRENA SolarCity Simulator. First developed as a pilot project to assess rooftop solar PV potential in the city of Kasese (Uganda), the SolarCity Simulator allows users to assess solar PV potential in their areas and move forward with installations that fit their needs. One of the sessions in this new training series shows audience how to seamlessly navigate the simulator that now includes the mapping of rooftop solar PV potential in twelve cities worldwide.
View the training videos here.