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The use of three perspectives to make energy implementation studies more culturally informed
Högskolan Dalarna, Energi och miljöteknik.
Högskolan Dalarna, Energi och miljöteknik.
2014 (English)In: Energy, Sustainability and Society, ISSN 2192-0567, Vol. 4, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In our research on the social and technical feasibility of a small-scale electrical power system in Tanzania, we have perceived a need for an alternative framework or method for social scientific studies of limited scope. The approach we suggest is also a response to the growing criticism of cultural ignorance with which many energy implementation projects are handled. Theories from Social Anthropology and Sociology form the core of the approach we present. In addition, concepts from Science and Technology studies are used, as well as lessons learned from History of Technology. We suggest that particular attention should be paid to three aspects: identification of social actors, perceptions of change, and long-term feasibility and sustainability. The approach has been developed and concretised through application in our research. To elucidate our suggested approach, we use examples and results from our ongoing research project, in which the 'Three-perspectives-approach' is currently applied. We have combined theories, approaches and knowledge from different disciplines in order to formulate a framework for studies of social aspects of energy projects that is structured, concise and comparable. The approach is developed to target multi-disciplinary researchers with limited training in social scientific research. It may also be used by project implementers, or as a way for social scientists to present their findings in a way that facilitates for non-social scientists to integrate them into practice. We suggest that the Three-perspectives-approach may be applied independently, os as a complement to other tools.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2014. Vol. 4, no 3
Keywords [en]
Three-perspectives-approach, energy implementation, energy transition, social actors, socio-cultural change, multi-disciplinary research
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-375497DOI: 10.1186/2192-0567-4-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-375497DiVA, id: diva2:1283932
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

Open access

Available from: 2019-01-30 Created: 2019-01-30 Last updated: 2019-01-30
In thesis
1. Micro-grids supplied by renewable energy: Improving technical and social feasibility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Micro-grids supplied by renewable energy: Improving technical and social feasibility
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Universal access to electricity stands high on the global agenda and is regarded as essential for positive development in sectors such as health care, education, poverty reduction, food production and climate change. Decentralized, off-grid electrification is deemed an important complement to centralized grid extension. By utilizing a renewable energy source, solar technology for the generation of electricity, photovoltaics (PV) is being considered as a way forward to minimize the environmental problems related to energy use.

This thesis aims to contribute to improving the technical and social feasibility of PV and PV-diesel hybrid micro-grids for the purpose of providing access to electricity to people in rural areas of countries with low level access to electricity. In line with these general aims, the focus has been to address three questions related to challenges in three phases of rural electrification. The work has a multi-disciplinary approach, addressing mainly technical and social aspects of long-term sustainability of micro-grids, in a local context, and the changes these are intended to generate. One specific micro-grid in Tanzania has been used as a major case study.

The thesis is developed through three papers, all presenting methodologies or aspects for investigation in rural electrification projects and studies in general, and for PV-diesel hybrid micro-grids in particular. Paper I puts forward a methodology to facilitate non-social scientific researchers to take social aspects increasingly into consideration. Paper II is a guideline to support system users to increasingly apply an evaluation based system operation. Paper III specifically highlights the importance to consider blackouts when investigating how an existing off-grid PV-diesel hybrid system shall be utilized when a national grid becomes available.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 53
Keywords
Rural electrification, Electricity access, Decentralized, Off-grid, Photovoltacs, PV-hybrid, Micro-grid, Multi-disciplinary, Sociotechnical
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-375499 (URN)
Presentation
2019-04-04, B-311, Röda vägen 3, Borlänge, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-03-08 Created: 2019-01-30 Last updated: 2019-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Bastholm, Caroline

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