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Bridging the chasm – Diffusion of energy innovations in poor infrastructure starved communities

Geeta Vaidyanathan, Ramani Sankaranarayanan and Nonita T. Yap

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2019, vol. 99, issue C, 243-255

Abstract: Adoption and sustained diffusion of renewable energy technologies (RET) in remote under-serviced communities do not follow conventional trajectories frequently requiring long gestation periods. The intent of this paper is to emphasize that these gestation periods are not dormant times but involve intense adjustment of the RET innovation to local settings. Village level biodiesel (VLB) is an RET innovation introduced into remote Indian subsistence farming communities where traditional service delivery channels either never existed or are defunct. VLB's diffusion trajectory has been benchmarked and reviewed in this paper with a focus on (1) the attributes of the innovation and (2) decision-making processes. Insights gained through this analysis indicate that promoting organizations must possess a wide range of knowledge capacities in order to be able to support a continuous adoption process. This paper does not focus on traditional and proven RET currently introduced through the private sector but on decentralized innovations, where the onus is on the promoting not-for-profit organization to develop hitherto non-existent local service delivery mechanisms and supply chains that could enhance the local economy. Empirical research for the paper was conducted as a participant observer.

Keywords: Renewable energy technologies; Diffusion; Pro-poor innovations; Village level biodiesel; Multifunctional platform; Low-carbon technology; Knowledge capacities; Innovation-decision processes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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