The political economy of state-led transformations in pro-poor low carbon energy: A case study of solar PV in Kenya

International efforts to achieve goals such as universal energy access and climate change mitigation are expected to stimulate billions of dollars of private financial flows to developing countries for clean (energy) technology transfer investments. Policies for realising these ambitions are framed in terms of neoliberal development orthodoxy, but critical voices call for more active state…

The Political Economy of State-led Energy Transformations: Lessons from Solar PV in Kenya and China

STEPS Working Paper 92 Amid talk of the need for a low carbon ‘clean energy revolution’ to address the challenges of energy poverty and climate change, there is growing academic and policy interest in understanding the role of key actors that are expected to enable transitions and transformations towards a low carbon economy in a…

Solar PV and poverty alleviation in China: Rhetoric and reality

STEPS Working Paper 93 In 2014, China announced an ambitious plan to help alleviate rural poverty through deploying distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in poor areas. The solar energy for poverty alleviation programme (SEPAP) initiative aims to add over 10 GW capacity and benefit more than 2 million households from around 35,000 villages across the…

How did we do that? The possibility of rapid transition

Is rapid transition possible? Sometimes events or new knowledge throw up reasons why we must make change happen quickly. At the present moment, climate change and chronic social inequality seem to demand radical change – but what kind of changes will work, and how can they be achieved? This booklet collects stories of rapid transitions…

Adapting to risk and perpetuating poverty: Household’s strategies for managing flood risk and water scarcity in Mexico City

Volume 66, December 2016, Pages 324–333 Adaptation is typically conceived uniquely in positive terms, however for some populations, investments in risk management can entail significant tradeoffs. Here we discuss the burden for households of coping with, and adapting to, adverse water conditions in economically marginal areas of Mexico City. We argue that households’ efforts to…

Opinion: Urban resilience efforts must consider social and political forces

Environmental disasters, ranging from catastrophic floods to extreme temperatures, have caused more than 30,000 deaths per year and more than US$ 250–300 billion a year in economic losses, globally, between 1995 and 2015 (1). Improved infrastructure and planning for extreme events is essential in urban areas, where an increasingly greater fraction of the world’s inhabitants…

Sustainable energy for all: Innovation, technology and pro-poor green transformations

This book, in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability series, looks at how countries could build innovation systems to provide sustainable energy for poor people, drawing on theories of innovation and empirical research in Kenya. The following Open Access chapters from the book are available to read under a Creative Commons licence – Attribution-Non Commercial-No…

Solar PV and solar water heaters in China: Different pathways to low carbon energy

This review paper examines pathways towards solar energy in China by examining two different solar energy technologies, namely solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heaters (SWH). The paper investigates these two case studies to understand how different pathways for low carbon innovation are promoted and challenged by China’s changing financing and policy-making, and how they relate to changing practices among producers and consumers.

China’s Low Carbon Future Offers Global Opportunities

by Sam Geall and Lulu Ning Hui with additional contributions from Isabel Hilton, Richard Black, Monica Wang, Yu Jie, Adrian Ely, David Tyfield and Frauke Urban How is China shifting to a low-carbon economy? What is driving the transition, and how will it affect global climate negotiations? This report, by chinadialogue, the Low Carbon Innovation…

New approaches to low carbon innovation in China

There are significant overlooked opportunities regarding low-carbon transition in China, with potential global impact. This leaflet summarises research which has looked at three areas of low carbon innovation in the country – agriculture, energy and transport. It explains how they depend not just on high-tech solutions, but also on changing social and political conditions. This…