Macquarie University
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Implementing sustainability with off-grid solar photovoltaics in India: energy transformation for rural and remote communities

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posted on 2023-01-27, 00:21 authored by Prabhakar Yadav

Energy poverty, especially in poor communities, is widespread globally. Climate change concerns have brought considerable support for renewable strategies to achieve universal energy access. In the context of rural communities in India, decentralised solar power has emerged as a reliable energy solution, but its adoption faces multifaceted barriers under existing settings. This thesis investigates these barriers by empirically studying data collected from rural households and augments with content analysis of interview data from policymakers and rural bankers under following manuscripts:

1. Reforming capital subsidy scheme to finance energy transition for the below poverty line communities in rural India.

2. Fuel choice and tradition: Why fuel stacking and the energy ladder are out of step?

3. The prospects of decentralised solar energy home systems in rural communities: User experience, determinants, and impact of free solar power on the energy poverty cycle.

4. Breaking into the photovoltaic energy transition for rural and remote communities: Challenging the impact of awareness norms and subsidy schemes.

5. Multi-scalar energy transitions in rural households: Distributed photovoltaics as a circuit breaker to the energy poverty cycle in India.

6. Distributed solar photovoltaics landscape in Uttar Pradesh, India: Lessons for transition to decentralised rural electrification.

7. Pay-As-You-Go financing: A model for viable and widespread deployment of solar home systems in rural India.

The thesis contributes to the existing body of energy transition literature by offering new knowledge for understanding complex and muddled process of socio-technical change in the context of developing countries. It also provides points of contention and conflicting interests of rural electrification stakeholders and shows how these conflicts and frictions points can be resolved to reach a point of policy and implementation inflexion to create enabling conditions for business innovation and efficient governance for a pro-poor clean energy transition and ultimately breaking energy poverty cycle.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Methodology -- Chapter 3: Inclusion of the below poverty line rural communities in energy transitions - Opportunities for improving governance -- Chapter 4: Household choices and implications for policymakers and energy enterprise -- Chapter 5: Bringing together key stakeholders and promoting new business models for deploying decentralised solar PV -- Chapter 6: Discussion -- Chapter 7: Conclusions -- Appendices

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD

Department, Centre or School

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Peter Davies

Additional Supervisor 1

Sabah Abdullah

Additional Supervisor 2

Vladimir Strezov


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