Renewable Energy Policies in South Asia
The World Bank's Solar Lighting Strategies and Design Principles
By Sam Wong
Routledge – 2016 – 204 pages
The World Bank’s ‘Design Principles’ for successful renewable energy interventions are cost management, good governance and a choice of technology that meets local needs. Focusing on solar lighting and drawing on case studies in Bangladesh and India, this book problematicises the underpinning assumptions of the ‘Design Principles’. It critically examines the obstacles against effective implementation in the field and points to the weaknesses of the World Bank’s renewable energy policies.Revealing an unintended consequences of the policy, the author argues that the failure to enhance poor people’s access to solar lighting results in a new layer of social divides in communities – between those who can afford solar lighting and those who cannot.
This book addresses these limitations by developing a pro-poor framework that promotes financial inclusion. It recommends building a sound complaint system and creating genuine partnerships between donors, NGOs and communities in renewable energy policies. It stresses that, without proper strategies and a strong determination to tackle the barriers, the energy divide between the rich and the poor, as far as access to clean energy is concerned, would become wider in poor communities. As a consequnce the goal to end poverty by renewable energy interventions would become even harder to achieve.
1. Introduction 2. The World Bank’s Design Principles in Solar Lighting Strategies 3. Renewable and Solar Energy Interventions in India and Bangladesh 4. Qualitative Research Methodology and Case Studies 5. Complexity of Human Motivations and Livelihoods in Energy-Switch 6. Institutional Change and Elite Capture 7. Participatory Governance and Gender Equity 8. Politicising Local Energy Entrepreneurship 9. Conclusions and Policy Implications
Sam Wong is Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Liverpool, UK