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Impact of evolving technology on collaborative energy access scaling

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  • Ray, Manojit
  • Chakraborty, Basab

Abstract

Worldwide, more than a billion rural dwellers live without electricity. Billions more endure awfully intermittent service even when connected to the grid. Most of these access challenged communities are in the Global South and may benefit from surging spread of distributed energy resources. However, associated investment necessity is large and so is the time required to address infrastructural bottlenecks. Recognising criticality of universal access to affordable, eco-friendly and reliable electricity in inclusive human development, the United Nations adopted ‘affordable and clean energy’ as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. To treasure electricity access, measurement of the same is important. The evolution of electricity access measurement has given rise to multi-tier, multi-parameter matrix. This improved measurement framework has facilitated researchers and policymakers in capturing various electricity access parameters in order to script focused energy strategy for the common man. This paper studies electricity availability, consumer aspiration and prevailing consumption in an impoverished, isolated, high-altitude valley, nestled in the Himalayas in India. It outlines evolving technology-aided, access measurement supported innovative access tier advancement opportunities in the valley. The result underscores the importance of consumer-focused approach for improving infrastructure utilisation. Consumer collaboration may result in fast, economical access advancement. Supply reliability may transform from abrupt complete disruption to gradual, cognisant decay. Such transition may encourage consumers to avoid costly, individual backup and instead use available resources sensibly. Embedding aspiration-supporting nudge in electricity regulation may promote co-operation, helping empowered consumers in scaling access tier affordably.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray, Manojit & Chakraborty, Basab, 2019. "Impact of evolving technology on collaborative energy access scaling," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 13-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:110:y:2019:i:c:p:13-27
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.04.051
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