Getting on the ground: Exploring the determinants of utility-scale solar PV in Rwanda

Judit Rodriguez Manotas*, Padmasai Lakshmi Bhamidipati, James Arthur Haselip

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Solar PV is gaining ground in low and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where a change from donor to more market-driven investments has been observed. This article contributes to energy transition research in low-income countries, taking Rwanda as a case study and focusing on the factors that determined the implementation of what was the largest on-grid solar project, upon completion in 2014. The multi-level perspective (MLP) is used to structure our analysis of the various socio-technical levels, and their interaction, to better understand the conditions that are enabling this transition. Our analysis reveals the central importance of bureaucratic and regulatory support for investment in low-carbon energy technologies, within a political economy influenced by processes of neo-liberalisation, while creating significant space for private contract negotiation. In particular, the provision of legal and financial guarantees was crucial to reduce risk for foreign capital investment, revealing contradictory forces that both promoted market rule, while limiting private capital’s exposure to competitive pressures. We also focus our analysis on the aspect of control and driving forces,
    in particular the role of development partners and private sector project champions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
    Volume42
    Pages (from-to)70-79
    ISSN2214-6296
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Energy transition
    • Multi-level perspective
    • Rwanda
    • Solar PV

    Cite this

    @article{2d79a48c415e4c9eba4cd08ac0d0d0f0,
    title = "Getting on the ground: Exploring the determinants of utility-scale solar PV in Rwanda",
    abstract = "Solar PV is gaining ground in low and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where a change from donor to more market-driven investments has been observed. This article contributes to energy transition research in low-income countries, taking Rwanda as a case study and focusing on the factors that determined the implementation of what was the largest on-grid solar project, upon completion in 2014. The multi-level perspective (MLP) is used to structure our analysis of the various socio-technical levels, and their interaction, to better understand the conditions that are enabling this transition. Our analysis reveals the central importance of bureaucratic and regulatory support for investment in low-carbon energy technologies, within a political economy influenced by processes of neo-liberalisation, while creating significant space for private contract negotiation. In particular, the provision of legal and financial guarantees was crucial to reduce risk for foreign capital investment, revealing contradictory forces that both promoted market rule, while limiting private capital’s exposure to competitive pressures. We also focus our analysis on the aspect of control and driving forces,in particular the role of development partners and private sector project champions.",
    keywords = "Energy transition, Multi-level perspective, Rwanda, Solar PV",
    author = "{Rodriguez Manotas}, Judit and Bhamidipati, {Padmasai Lakshmi} and Haselip, {James Arthur}",
    year = "2018",
    doi = "10.1016/j.erss.2018.03.007",
    language = "English",
    volume = "42",
    pages = "70--79",
    journal = "Energy Research & Social Science",
    issn = "2214-6296",
    publisher = "Elsevier",

    }

    Getting on the ground: Exploring the determinants of utility-scale solar PV in Rwanda. / Rodriguez Manotas, Judit; Bhamidipati, Padmasai Lakshmi; Haselip, James Arthur.

    In: Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 42, 2018, p. 70-79.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Getting on the ground: Exploring the determinants of utility-scale solar PV in Rwanda

    AU - Rodriguez Manotas, Judit

    AU - Bhamidipati, Padmasai Lakshmi

    AU - Haselip, James Arthur

    PY - 2018

    Y1 - 2018

    N2 - Solar PV is gaining ground in low and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where a change from donor to more market-driven investments has been observed. This article contributes to energy transition research in low-income countries, taking Rwanda as a case study and focusing on the factors that determined the implementation of what was the largest on-grid solar project, upon completion in 2014. The multi-level perspective (MLP) is used to structure our analysis of the various socio-technical levels, and their interaction, to better understand the conditions that are enabling this transition. Our analysis reveals the central importance of bureaucratic and regulatory support for investment in low-carbon energy technologies, within a political economy influenced by processes of neo-liberalisation, while creating significant space for private contract negotiation. In particular, the provision of legal and financial guarantees was crucial to reduce risk for foreign capital investment, revealing contradictory forces that both promoted market rule, while limiting private capital’s exposure to competitive pressures. We also focus our analysis on the aspect of control and driving forces,in particular the role of development partners and private sector project champions.

    AB - Solar PV is gaining ground in low and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where a change from donor to more market-driven investments has been observed. This article contributes to energy transition research in low-income countries, taking Rwanda as a case study and focusing on the factors that determined the implementation of what was the largest on-grid solar project, upon completion in 2014. The multi-level perspective (MLP) is used to structure our analysis of the various socio-technical levels, and their interaction, to better understand the conditions that are enabling this transition. Our analysis reveals the central importance of bureaucratic and regulatory support for investment in low-carbon energy technologies, within a political economy influenced by processes of neo-liberalisation, while creating significant space for private contract negotiation. In particular, the provision of legal and financial guarantees was crucial to reduce risk for foreign capital investment, revealing contradictory forces that both promoted market rule, while limiting private capital’s exposure to competitive pressures. We also focus our analysis on the aspect of control and driving forces,in particular the role of development partners and private sector project champions.

    KW - Energy transition

    KW - Multi-level perspective

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    KW - Solar PV

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    JO - Energy Research & Social Science

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