Iraqis experience interruptions of the public electricity supply of up to 18 hours a day. In response, private entrepreneurs and the Local Provincial Councils (LPCs) have installed an estimated 55,000–80,000 diesel generators, each rated typically between 100 and 500 kVA. The generators supply neighbourhoods through small, isolated distribution networks to operate lighting, fans and small appliances when power is not available from the public supply. A single radial live conductor connects each customer to the generator and payment for the electricity is based on a monthly charge per ampere. The operation and regulation of the neighbourhood diesel generator networks was reviewed through a comprehensive literature survey, site visits and interviews conducted with local operators and assemblers of the generator sets. The electricity is expensive, the generators can only supply small loads, have considerable environmental impact and the unusual single wire distribution practice is potentially hazardous. However, the use of the generators is likely to continue in the absence of any alternative electricity supply. The diesels and networks are poorly regulated and there is scope to enforce existing standards and develop a new standard to address the hazards of the connection practice. The chapter goes on to assess the possibilities of using small photovoltaic systems for power generation in Iraq.
Part of the book: Microgrids and Local Energy Systems