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The Solar Transitions research on solar mini-grids in India: Learning from local cases of innovative socio-technical systems
University of Oslo, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3945-0183
University of Oslo, Norway .
The Energy and Resources Institute, India.
University of Klagenfurt, Austria.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3945-0183
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2011 (English)In: Energy for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-0826, Vol. 15, no 3, 293-303 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article presents new empirical material from a case study on longstanding, pioneering efforts on implementation and use of solar mini-grid systems in the Sunderban Islands in India. These local, socio-technical experiments have been investigated by a trans-disciplinary team of researchers and practitioners in order to gain a deep understanding of the diversity of social and technical factors influencing the ways in which the systems work at different levels. This socio-technical research highlights the dynamics between technology and society and how they are mutually influencing and shaping each other. These dynamics create gradual changes in the socio-technical system of technical devises, people, practices, knowledge and other elements, requiring adjustments also by the implementing actors. A range of technical and non-technical factors at various levels are found to be relevant for the implementation, operation, sustenance and further development of the solar power supply systems. The research points to important factors that should be taken into account and considered when planning similar activities. In addition to the analysis of the research findings, the article includes a brief review of literature on the implementation and use of solar photovoltaic technology in developing countries, with an emphasis on solar mini-grid systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 15, no 3, 293-303 p.
Keyword [en]
Solar mini-grids, Sunderban Islands, Off-grid solar power supply, Renewable energy, Sociotechnical system, Social organization
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-89440DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2011.06.004OAI: diva2:607812
Available from: 2013-02-25 Created: 2013-02-25 Last updated: 2015-03-05

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Ulsrud, KirstenRohracher, Harald
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