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Solar Power's Rise and Promise

Author

Listed:
  • Ernesto M. Pernia

    (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)

  • Maria Janela M. Generoso

    (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)

Abstract

Time was when solar energy was facilely dismissed as impractical, inefficient, and pricey. In recent years, however, innovations in technology, regulation, and financing have resulted in remarkable efficiency improvements and price reductions, thereby reversing the skepticism about this renewable energy (RE) source. In this paper, we explore how this has happened, to what extent photovoltaic solar technology has been accepted around the world, and what might be its potential for inclusive green growth. We find that adoption of both on-grid and off-grid solar systems has been widespread and rapidly increasing. Particularly noteworthy is the utilization of small- scale individual or distributed off-grid solar home systems (SHS) in remote and underserved areas in the developing world, including East Africa and South Asia. It appears that the Philippines has been a relative latecomer. Data show that solar power's "installed" capacity remains a tiny fraction of all RE sources (that also include hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass, and ocean). Moreover, such capacity is for ongrid only; there seems none as yet installed for off-grid SHS. We conclude with the paper's main points and possible implications for policy and research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto M. Pernia & Maria Janela M. Generoso, 2015. "Solar Power's Rise and Promise," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 201508, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:phs:dpaper:201508
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    File URL: http://www.econ.upd.edu.ph/dp/index.php/dp/article/view/1478
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shahidur R. Khandker & Hussain A. Samad & Zubair K.M. Sadeque & Mohammed Asaduzzaman & Mohammad Yunus & A.K. Enamul Haque, 2014. "Surge in Solar-Powered Homes : Experience in Off-Grid Rural Bangladesh," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 20427, November.
    2. Pernia, Ernesto M. & Quibria, M.G., 1999. "Poverty in developing countries," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 45, pages 1865-1934 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Renewable energy; Inclusive green growth; Rural electrification; Economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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