PicoPV Policy: Issues and Options

From energypedia


Policy options to promote a dynamic development of the PicoPV market should entail the full range of typical instruments of ODA in the energy sector, all geared towards two objectives:

  • speed up the market penetration lest large (low income) market segments remain excluded for an undesirable interim period due to market inefficiencies or rationale private sector pricing strategies (cream skimming) and/or
  • protect consumers from “lemons” so as to avoid welfare losses – i.e. prevent that markets are flooded with low quality short lifetime products due to information asymmetries to the disadvantage of consumers (which would be especially devastating to the poorest users targeted by some of the PicoPV lamps).[1]

For more information about the Pico PV lamps distribution model, see Lamp Distribution Models

Regulatory Measures

The main task of regulatory measures would be to protect customers (and markets) from the effects of market inefficiencies.
This relates mainly to information asymmetries, but also to inefficient taxes and customs.

Typical tasks would be to:

  • Inform all national stakeholders about global product quality and key quality issues
  • Define national specs
  • Develop a quality Label (regulation by information). This is an important aspect, because a lot of products still fail to achieve quality standards, expected from a mass produced system [2].
  • Develop local testing abilities.
  • Delegate “PV regulation” to decentralized entities
  • Align import duties on different solar equipment[1]


Clearly, the most controversial discussion will be whether to subsidize PicoPV products or not.

Facts of subsidies in general are already discussed for several products.

Consumer Survey

For materials required for conducting a survey on PicoPV products, see PicoPV Consumer Survey.

For infomation about market penetration and consumer feedback, see Impacts of PicoPV and Consumer Research

Further Information


  1. 1.0 1.1 GTZ. 2010. What difference can a PicoPV system make? Early findings on small Photovoltaic systems - an emerging low- cost energy technology for developing countries: GIZ PicoPV Booklet Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Difference" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Lighting Africa. 2010. Solar Lighting for the Base of the Pyramid - Overview of an Emerging Market -