Renewable Energy Information
  on Markets, Policy, Investment, and Future Pathways
  by Eric Martinot

Renewable Energy Case Studies

Sources/Groups of Case Studies
Bonn Renewables 2004 Conference Case Studies
GEF Project Case Studies
Other Selected Case Studies
GEF Renewable Energy Project Briefs


CADDET Technical Brochures. Over 150 individual brochures provide case studies of selected demonstration projects within the CADDET program. They can be searched by keyword, technology, sector, and country, or listed in full.

The new site of the Global Village Energy Partnership Online contains a searchable knowledge base of project profiles for rural energy in developing countries. Cases were just starting to be added in mid-2003.

The historical site of the Global Village Energy Partnership at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory contains a searchable "project database" with case studies of over 140 projects, virtually all in developing countries.

Technology Without Borders: Case Studies of Successful Technology Transfer, International Energy Agency and UN Environment Programme (Paris: OECD, 2001). About 15 case studies, with a mixture of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Special Report on Methodological and Technological Issues in Technology Transfer, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Geneva: IPCC, 2000). Section III (pp. 373-443) contains 30 case studies, about 10 of which focus on renewable energy.

The Solar Electric Light Fund offers a number of case studies of their past projects.

Shell Solar has a sub-link to project case studies from some of their projects in both developed and developing countries.

"Renewable energy: GEF partners with business for a better world". Short booklet which contains 10 short business cases in developing countries. Dozens of case studies of micro-hydro.

Several magazines available on-line offer good sources of case studies, including REFocus, Renewable Energy World, and Solar Buzz (World Solar Energy News).

Sustainable Alternatives Network offers a small but growing number of renewable energy business-oriented case studies.

NREL China rural energy pilot projects.


Africa rural/renewable energy enterprise development
Bangladesh Grameen Shakti rural solar energy service
Brazil ethanol program for transport fuels
China "Brightness" and "Township Electrification" programs (see also the NREL brochure)
Czech republic energy efficiency and renewables project
Global best practice in solar incentive programs
Nepal biogas support program
South Africa SADC programm for biomass energy conservation
Sri Lanka Energy Services Delivery Project
Switzerland (Basil) municipal policies for promotion of renewable energy


Bangladesh Grameen Shakti -- non-profit business selling solar home systems and providing consumer credit. See Grameen Shakti web site.

Brazil biomass gasification -- pre-investment research activities.

China UNDP/GEF Commercialization of Renewable Energy -- hybrid mini-grids, biogas, solar hot water, wind power, industry association.

India World Bank/GEF Renewable Energy Resources Development project -- wind power and solar PV.

India World Bank/GEF Renewable Energy Resources Development project -- wind power and solar PV (by World Bank ASTAE).

Sri Lanka World Bank/GEF Energy Services Delivery project -- solar home systems, microcredit, village-scale small hydro (by Gramata Light).

GEF grid-connected renewable energy project cases for China, India, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka are also contained in the paper "Grid-based renewable energy in developing countries: policies, strategies, and lessons from the GEF" (2002).

GEF solar home system (off-grid) renewable energy project cases for Argentina, Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe are contained in Annexes 2 through 5 of the report The GEF Solar PV Portfolio: Emerging Experience and Lessons (2000).

Short descriptions of all GEF renewable energy projects approved from 1992 to mid-1999 are contained in Annexes B1 through B4 of the report Promoting Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: GEF Climate Change Projects and Impacts (2000).


See also the Productive Uses of Renewable Energy page for a collection of case studies focusing on use of renewable energy for agriculture, small industry, water, education, health care, and other social needs.

China Township Electrification Program. A thousand rural villages were electrified with small wind, solar, and small hydro over the course of 20 months in 2002-2003.

IEA PVPS programme. Case studies of PV applications in IEA countries.

" Renewable energy technology diffusion: final report 2003". Analyzes seven case studies and lessons from renewable energy technology diffusion projects in developing and developed countries. Report by the E7 group of international electricity companies.

E7 "Energy in Action" case studies, including Bhutan Micro Hydro Power, Bhutan and Galapagos (Ecuador) Micro-Solar Distance Learning Program, Galapagos (Ecuador) San Cristobal Wind Repowering Project, and Indonesia Sustainable Rural Electrification.

Biogas Nepal 2003. Achievements under the Nepal Biogas Sector Partnership from 1992 to 2003.

Open for Business: Entrepreneurs, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Development, UN Environment Program and UN Foundation (Paris, 2003), 28 pp. Background, concept, and results from the "Renewable Energy Enterprise Development" (REED) programs in El Salvador, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. These programs take an innovative approach to supporting rural entrepreneurship. See also the AREED web site.

Thinking big: solar water pumping in the Punjab, Jos van den Akker and Hemant Lamba, RE-focus, Nov/Dec 2002, pp. 40-43.

Cuba "Revolutionary Health Care PV-Powered" (by Laurie Stone, Home Power, Aug/Sep 1998).

Solar Electric Light Company subsidiaries are selling solar home systems in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, using both cash and microcredit schemes.

Soluz Dominicana solar home systems (rental/fee-for-service) in the Dominican Republic. Also Soluz Honduras.

Enersol. Programs EduSol and AguaSol are resulting in numerous project case studies on provision of water, education, and health care using renewable energy.

Worldwater Corporation. Solar-PV-powered drinking water investments in eight developing countries, with a major program in the Philippines.

US collaboration promotes integrated social development in Guatemala, D. Stone, J. Manrique, Hydropower and Dams No.4, pp. 102-104 (2002).

E & Co. Case studies of renewable energy enterprise development in rural areas of developing countries.


The GEF represents one of the largest sources of funding and projects for renewable energy in developing countries. GEF "project briefs" typically contain 30-60 pages of description of a project design as it is being approved by the GEF Council. Subsequent to the project brief but before implementation begins, a final and longer "project document" is endorsed by the GEF CEO. Project briefs are also available on the GEF web site under the Project Database button or under the Council Meeting Documentation (under "Work Program") for the Council meeting that approved the project. Final project documents are available on the web site as "Project Proposals for Endorsement."

Below is a complete list of the 109 renewable energy project briefs from 1991 through 2004, sorted by year of Council approval. The list includes MSPs, or "medium-size projects," which are not subject to Council approval (note: MSP proposals are listed separately on the GEF web site).


Botswana Renewable Energy-based Electrification Program
Egypt Solar Thermal Hybrid
Lao PDR Southern Provinces Rural Electrification II Program
Lesotho Renewable Energy-based Rural Electrification
Malaysia Building Integrated Photovoltaic Technology Application
(Regional) Accelerating Renewable Energy Investments through CABEI in Central America
South Africa Wind Energy Programme (SAWEP) Phase I
Swaziland Energizing Rural Transformation
Vietnam: Rural Energy II
Yemen Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development
Zambia Renewable Energy-based Electricity Generation for Isolated Mini-grids


Cuba Generation and Delivery of Renewable Energy Based Modern Energy Services
Eritrea Wind Energy Applications
Ethiopia Renewable Energy Project
(Global) Development of a Strategic Market Intervention Approach for Grid-Connected Solar Energy Technologies (MSP)
Korea DPR Small Wind Energy Development and Promotion in Rural Areas (MSP)
Maldives Renewable Energy Technology Development and Application Project (MSP)
Mexico Large Scale Renewable Energy Development Project
Russia Developing the Legal and Regulatory Framework for Wind Power (MSP)
Tanzania Transformation of the Rural Photovoltaics (PV) Market
Tunisia Development of On-Grid Wind Electricity
(Regional) Development of Geothermal Energy in Europe and Central Asia
Russia Developing the Legal and Regulatory Framework for Wind Power (MSP)


Belarus biomass energy for heating and hot water supply
Burkina Faso energy sector reform
Costa Rica national off-grid electrification program based on renewable energy
Croatia renewable energy resources
Georgia promoting the use of renewable energy for local energy supply
India removal of barriers to biomass power generation
Mali household energy and universal rural access
Mexico removing barriers to the full-scale implementation of wind power
Nicaragua off-grid rural electrification for development
Pacific Islands renewable energy program (MSP)
Peru obtaining biofuels and non-wood cellulose fiber from agricultural residues/waste (MSP)
Philippines rural power
Sri Lanka renewable energy for rural economic development


Bangladesh rural electrification and renewable energy development
Cambodia renewable energy promotion
China renewable energy scale-up program
Ecuador renewable energy for electricity generation, Galapogos Islands
Ecuador power and communication sectors modernization and rural services project
Malaysia biomass-based power generation and co-generation in the Malaysian palm oil industry
Mozambique energy reform and access
Namibia barrier removal to Namibian renewable energy program
Poland integrated approach to wood waste combustion for heat production (MSP)
Philippines capacity building to remove barriers to renewable energy
Senegal energy sector investment project
Slovak Republic use of biomass energy (MSP)
South Africa pilot production and commercial dissemination of solar cookers (MSP)
Vietnam systems efficiency improvement, equitization and renewables
(Global) Costa Rica promotion of youth-led enterprises in off-grid renewable energy (MSP)


(Carribean) renewable energy development
Chile removal of barriers to rural electrification with renewable energy
China wind power development
Cuba co-generation of electricity and steam using sugarcane bagasse and trash
Kazakhstan wind power market development initiative
Latvia wood waste for municipal heating systems (MSP)
Peru renewable energy systems in teh Peruvian Amazon region (MSP)
Uganda rural energy for development
(Global) solar and wind resource assessment


(Central America) capacity for sustainable renewable energy development (MSP)
Fiji renewable energy hybrid power systems (MSP)
Guatemala renewable energy based small enterprise development in the Quiche region (MSP)
Guinea rural energy
Hungary Szombathely CHP/biomass
India biomass energy for rural India
Malawi barrier removal to Malawi RE programme
Mexico hybrid solar thermal power plant
Mexico renewable energy for agriculture
Macedonia mini-hydropower (MSP)
Morocco developing solar water heater markets
Morocco solar based thermal power plant
Philippines CEPALCO distributed generation PV
Philippines Palawan new and renewable energy livelihood project (MSP)
Slovenia removing barriers to increased use of biomass as an energy source
South Africa solar water heaters for low-income housing in peri-urban areas
South Africa concentrating solar power for Africa study (MSP)
Sudan barrier removal to secure PV market penetration in semi-urban Sudan (MSP)
Thailand removing barriers to biomass power/CHP


Benin decentralized rural energy
Cape Verde energy & water sector reform and development
China renewable energy development
Peru PV based rural electrification
Solar development group
Togo decentralized rural energy


Argentina renewable energy in rural markets
Bolivia rural electrification with renewable energy
Brazil biomass power commercial demonstration
China capacity building for renewable energy commercialisation
Lao PDR South provinces renewable energy pilot (MSP)


Brazil bagasse and waste for power generation
Ghana renewable energy-based electricity for rural, social and economic development
India solar thermal electric
Sri Lanka renewable energy capacity building
Sri Lanka energy services delivery
(Global) PV market transformation initiative
(Global) Renewable energy and energy efficiency fund


Indonesia solar home systems
Lithuania Klaipeda geothermal demonstration
Uganda PV pilot project for rural electrification


Small and Medium Scale Enterprise programme


Tunisia solar water heating


Brazil biomass integrated gasification/gas turbine
Costa Rica Tejona wind power
India development of high-rate biomethanation processes
Mauritania decentralised wind power for social and economic development


India development of small hydel in hilly areas
Maritius sugar bio-energy technology
Philippines Leyte-Luzon geothermal
Zimbabwe PV for household and community use

Page updated October 21, 2005
Photo credits C. Babcock, W. Gretz and DOE/NREL Photo Information Exchange