Selling Solar: The Diffusion of Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets

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During this time he worked closely with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and emerging market governments to help grow local solar markets, overseeing the connection of more than , solar homes.

At the end of he set up Orb Energy in India. Orb sells, installs and services solar systems across multiple states in India, with plans for further expansion. He has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, and currently resides in Bangalore, India. Indeed, it has been competitive for at least one, getting close to two decades. Most people like to conclude that when an innovation is economically competitive with the substitute technologies, it will just diffuse — that the economic benefits of the innovation will mean that it just sells itself.

Selling Solar: The Diffusion of Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets | Emerald Insight

The case of solar in emerging markets has clearly shown how effective the World Bank can be in helping to accelerate the diffusion of renewable energy. As we saw, when the World Bank entered the solar sector, it had very little prior knowledge it could draw on.


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Like the profiled entrepreneurs, it was a question of learning by doing. Here it took hold and led to the diffusion of , solar systems by mid representing 7 per cent of unelectrified households.

Selling Solar

Then the World Bank replicated again in Bangladesh , systems by mid and China , systems by mid In Selling Solar, we have seen that there were two critical forms of finance necessary for diffusion: consumer finance for customers who wanted to buy solar systems and venture finance for entrepreneurs who were selling them.

Both kinds of finance will be critical to the diffusion of renewable energy in emerging markets. When customers buy a solar system, they are essentially buying at least 20 years of power, up-front, on day one.


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So the up-front costs tend to be high relative to the running costs. Who did it? And how can this success be replicated?

Drawing on literature on innovation diffusion and entrepreneurship, the author answers these questions, showing how entrepreneurs affected profound technological change not just through the solar systems they sold, but through the example they set to both new market entrants and policymakers. In analysing how this happened, this book offers important lessons for the diffusion of a range of renewable energy technologies in emerging markets, and for the advancement of the sector as a whole.

Selling Solar The Diffusion Of Renewable Energy In Emerging Markets 2009

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