Environmental benefits of pv powered lighting products for rural areas in South East Asia: A life cycle analysis with geographic allocation

Bart Durlinger, Angèle Reinders, Marten Toxopeus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Photovoltaic (PV) lighting products are increasingly used to provide rural households in developing countries with clean and safe lighting. These households usually do not have access to electricity from a power grid and rely on either kerosene lamps or electricity from car batteries which are inefficiently charged at local charging stations. PV lighting products can deliver a higher quality of service. Moreover, they are safer and more reliable (1). Another important aspect is their environmental benefit when compared to their traditional alternatives, which we have evaluated by a life cycle assessment. Our study is based on a case in Cambodia (2 ). The main goals of the project are to determine the environmental benefits and which parts are contributing to impacts that occur. The analysis provides important information for stakeholders, because environmental strengths and weaknesses of these products can be identified and used in future product design and for marketing purposes. Our study shows that the use of small sized PV lighting products is environmentally beneficial compared to traditional lighting solutions such as a car battery charged with a diesel generator or a kerosene light. However, impacts are comparable to the environmental impacts of lighting by compact fluorescent lights powered by electricity from the grid. The environmental profile of small size PV lighting products can be improved by 50 % by recycling of the batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2010
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781424458912
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 2010) - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 20 Jun 201025 Jun 2010
Conference number: 35


Conference35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 2010)
Abbreviated titlePVSC 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Life cycle assessment
  • Product integrated PV
  • PV systems
  • Rural electrification


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