Jacobson, Arne / 2010. Solar electrification and social change in Kenya.
World Development, 35 (1): 144-162

Market-based rural electrification with solar energy is increasingly common in developing countries. This article revolves around three main claims about solar electrification in Kenya’s unsubsidized market: (1) The benefits of solar electrification are captured primarily by the rural middle class. (2) Solar electricity plays a modest role in supporting economically productive and education-related activities, but ‘‘connective’’ applications such as television, radio, and cellular telephone charging often receive a higher priority. (3) Solar electrification is more closely tied to increased television use, the expansion of markets, more rural–urban communication, and other processes that increase rural–urban connectivity than to poverty alleviation, sustainable development, or the appropriate technology movement.

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Appeared in

Sector: Education Generation, Lighting Access, Phone
Region: East Africa