Small solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) systems are currently gaining popularity in the public domain in several Caribbean islands including Barbados and Jamaica as a result of spiralling electricity cost in the region. The cost of these systems, however presents a huge drawback to consumers, thus forcing them to think twice before investing.
When considering the economics of investing in small solar electric systems it is necessary to look at both the capital cost and the long term operating cost. The capital cost, which includes the cost of designing and installing a PV system, can be very overwhelming for a consumer that is already fed up with high electricity bills. The operating cost on the other hand, which includes the cost of maintaining the PV system over its useful life, is generally small when compared to spiralling monthly electricity bills.