Innovation for sustainable energy from a pro-poor perspective

Tawney, L., Miller, M., & Bazilian, M. (2015). Innovation for sustainable energy from a pro-poor perspective. Climate Policy 15 (1) 146-162. 10.1080/14693062.203.781456.

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The development and transfer of clean energy technologies to achieve universal energy access is challenging due to the inherent complexities of the energy sector, and the energy governance and financial systems in developing economies. Innovation is an essential part of successfully addressing these difficulties. Duplicating the energy infrastructure models of developed countries will not be sufficient to meet the needs of poor consumers. To the extent that innovation can accelerate energy access, it is important to understand the specific types of innovations that are necessary and how they might be facilitated. The general features of existing international clean energy innovation systems, which are predominantly driven by the markets and emissions reduction mechanisms of developed and rapidly growing emerging economies, are reviewed and the alignment of these systems to the innovation processes required to extend energy access globally is evaluated. Drawing on the innovation policy literature, the attributes of effective international and domestic energy innovation systems that are pro-poor and the associated policy approaches are identified.

POLICY RELEVANCE: While energy innovation for climate mitigation suffers from insufficient policy attention, even less attention has been given to energy innovation for energy access for the poor. Four policy approaches to better link energy innovation frameworks to energy access objectives are identified. First, contextually-appropriate, pro-poor policy approaches to innovation should be prioritized over hardware-centric approaches. Second, enabling environments for entrepreneurs should be cultivated. Third, policies should target the enhancement of innovation capabilities, with a particular focus on organizational capital and networks of firms and other actors. Lastly, novel technology transfer pathways, in particular South-South pathways, should be explored. These approaches may have more potential for pro-poor innovation than traditional North-South transfers of technology, because they are rooted in the energy services needs of the poor and more geared to address pro-poor issues than the innovation priorities of developed countries are.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy access; Energy policy; Innovation policy; South-South; Technology transfer
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Bibliographic Reference: Climate Policy; 15(1):146-162 (2015) (January 2015) (Published online 18 April 2013)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:39

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