Accepted Paper:

Energy experiments in off-grid regions - practitioners role and social impacts  


Carmen Dienst (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy)
Willington Ortiz
Marie-Christine Gröne (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy)
Julia Terrapon-Pfaff

Paper short abstract:

Non-technical aspects are relevant for the success of energy projects in off-grid regions. Practitioners are crucial role to trigger and accompany transformative processes of these energy experiments. Insights from a post-evaluation of 30 projects and analysis of practitioners networks are presented.

Paper long abstract:

It is widely accepted that non-technical aspects are highly relevant for the success of decentralised renewable energy projects (DREs). The impacts of those factors and which aspects hinder sustainable implementation are complex.

Especially in regions with no or low energy access these projects can be understood as interventions that trigger and accompany transformative processes. In that sense they can be seen as energy experiments. The different groups involved, like individual community members, local government, local NGOs, funding organizations and practitioners, have specific roles within the implementation process.

The practitioners, such as implementing organisations or individual experts, can be seen as the facilitators of transformation. They possess accumulated know-how not only in terms of technical expertise and on-site troubleshooting, but as well as in the appropriate ways of achieving sound and long-term success.

The results presented in the session are based on insights from a) a post-evaluation of 30 projects 2-8 years after implementation; b) the analysis of so-called practitioners networks, like the biogas network in Latin America (RedBioLAC) and the HydroEmpowerment network in South East Asia; c.) lessons learned from 10 years of monitoring small-scale energy projects, supported under WISIONS initiative.

Next to availability of adequate knowledge and skills, success factors are clearly linked to the needs of the beneficiaries and how they are addressed, such as motivation and satisfaction. However, the importance of locally-anchored organisations and practitioners, as well as the role of the local decision makers, is often underestimated by global funding organizations or within supporting programmes.

Panel T098
Energy Experiments