Socio-Technical Drivers for Community Renewable Energy Systems – Analysis of Case Studies from India

  •  Sutapa Pati    


Renewable energy sector of India has the potential to be a credible alternative for households and communities. The sector accounts for approximately 13 per cent of the national energy capacity, including technologies such as solar grid/ off – grid generation, wind power, small hydro power, biomass/ biogas, and waste to energy. Statistics related to implementation illustrate the scope of tapping the renewable energy sector comprehensively, esp. for decentralized, household and community level applications. This paper analyses on – ground case studies and projects from various renewable energy categories, specifically the socio – technical and community aspects that play a significant role in successful Renewable Energy Technologies (henceforth RET) implementation. The distilled positive and negative drivers include technical, economic considerations, policy and regulatory, environmental aspects, market/ business models, and social/ community linked aspects. Case studies describe the need for a system based and stakeholder engagement approach where all possible stakeholders and their issues are envisaged and taken into account. Use of an evaluating framework is suggested to ensure successful community models of RETs and mass adoption of renewable technologies.

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