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

  • Published 02/02/17

David Ockwell and Rob Byrne
Routledge/Earthscan 2017

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Open Access content

The following Open Access chapters from the book are available to read under a Creative Commons licence – Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND):

Chapter 1: Beyond hardware financing and private sector entrepreneurship (PDF)

Chapter 6: Learning from the Kenyan Solar PV Innovation History (PDF)

About this book

Sustainable Energy book cover

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.

Despite decades of effort and billions of dollars spent, two thirds of people in sub-Saharan Africa still lack access to electricity, a vital pre-cursor to economic development and poverty reduction. Ambitious international policy commitments seek to address this, but scholarship has failed to keep pace with policy ambitions, lacking both the empirical basis and the theoretical perspective to inform such transformative policy aims.

Sustainable Energy for All aims to fill this gap. Through detailed historical analysis of the Kenyan solar PV market the book demonstrates the value of a new theoretical perspective based on Socio-Technical Innovation System Building. Importantly, the book goes beyond a purely academic critique to detail exactly how a Socio-Technical Innovation System Building approach might be operationalized in practice, facilitating both a detailed plan for future comparative research as well as a clear agenda for policy and practice. These plans are based on a systemic perspective that is more fit for purpose to inform transformative policy ambitions like the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 initiative and to underpin pro-poor pathways in sustainable energy access.

This book will be of interest to academic researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the field of sustainable energy access and low carbon development more broadly.


1. Introduction: Beyond Hardware Financing and Private Sector Entrepreneurship
2. Innovation Systems for Technological Change and Economic Development
3. Innovation in the Context of Social Practices and Socio-Technical Regimes
4. Emergence and Articulation of the Kenyan Solar PV Market
5. Policy Regime Interactions and Emerging Markets
6. Learning from the Kenyan Solar PV Innovation History
7. Conclusions: Towards Socio-Technical Innovation System Building

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