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Introducing Modern Energy Services into Developing Countries: The Role of Local Community Socio-Economic Structures

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Author(s): Willington Ortiz | Carmen Dienst | Julia Terrapon-Pfaff

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 341;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: sustainable energy technologies | community-based projects | socio-technical transitions | WISIONS initiative

ABSTRACT
Sustainable energy technologies are widely sought-after as essential elements in facing global challenges such as energy security, global warming and poverty reduction. However, in spite of their promising advantages, sustainable energy technologies make only a marginal contribution to meeting energy related needs in both industrialised and developing countries, in comparison to the widespread use of unsustainable technologies. One of the most significant constraints to their adoption and broad diffusion is the socio-economic context in which sustainable energy technologies are supposed to operate. The same holds true for community-based energy projects in developing countries supported by the WISIONS initiative. Practical strategies dealing with these socio-economic challenges are crucial elements for project design and, particularly, for the implementation of project activities. In this paper experiences from implementing community-based projects are reviewed in order to identify the practical elements that are relevant to overcome socio-economic challenges. In order to systematise the findings, an analytical framework is proposed, which combines analytical tools from the socio-technical transition framework and insights from participative approaches to development.

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