Success and failure in the political economy of solar electrification: lessons from World Bank Solar Home System (SHS) projects in Sri Lanka and Indonesia

Sovacool, Benjamin K (2018) Success and failure in the political economy of solar electrification: lessons from World Bank Solar Home System (SHS) projects in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Energy Policy, 123. pp. 482-493. ISSN 0301-4215

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Abstract

This study contrasts two national solar home system (SHS) programs that relied on the same World Bank approach, but reached dramatically different results. The Energy Services Delivery Project (ESDP) in Sri Lanka was an exemplary renewable energy access program, successfully installing 21,000 off-grid SHSs alongside grid-connected mini-hydro capacity and off-grid village hydroelectric systems. It reached all of its targets ahead of schedule and below cost. By contrast, the Indonesia Solar Home System Project (ISHSP), which ran from 1997 to 2003, sought to reach one million rural Indonesians through the sales and installation of 200,000 SHSs. However, by project closing in 2003, less than five percent of the original sales target, or only 8,054 units, had been installed. The ESDP and ISHSP were the World Bank’s first foray into a “market-based renewable energy services provision model.” Based on original research interviews and field observation, the article finds that contrasting the two programs—one a success, the other a failure—offers lessons for energy and development practitioners, namely that effective programs are those that select appropriate technology, often with input from households themselves; they promote community participation and ownership; and they have robust marketing, demonstration, and promotion activities.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Ellie Leftley
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 13:44
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 01:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/78850

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