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The analysis starts with a detailed needs assessment which involves local information gathering to understand the socio-economic characteristics of the local population, their existing and potential livelihood, commercial and productive activities (agriculture and small-scale industries) as well as community-related needs. Instead of developing a single point AM095 demand estimate, alternative scenarios are developed considering different levels of energy service development (e.g. basic lighting needs, lighting and some livelihood/productive needs, service for a limited period of time, and reliable round-the-clock service, among others). It is also possible to consider multi-village systems for economies of scale.
The techno-economic analysis of appropriate electricity supply system for each scenario is then carried out using HOMER software package developed by NREL. Each case study considers alternative resource options taking local resource availability into consideration as well as alternative scenarios for electricity needs developed in the previous step. This also leads to a further level of iteration that provides a rich set of system configurations and their life-cycle costs corresponding to alternative development paths. Information has also been used to reflect the local cost of energy system components wherever possible.