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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Research Group Future Energy and Mobility Structures, Doeppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
2
Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Trier, Behringstraße 21, 54296 Trier, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2012, 4(3), 341-358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su4030341
Received: 30 November 2011 / Revised: 15 February 2012 / Accepted: 22 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable energy technologies; community-based projects; socio-technical transitions; WISIONS initiative sustainable energy technologies; community-based projects; socio-technical transitions; WISIONS initiative
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Ortiz, W.; Dienst, C.; Terrapon-Pfaff, J. Introducing Modern Energy Services into Developing Countries: The Role of Local Community Socio-Economic Structures. Sustainability 2012, 4, 341-358.

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