[SE11-ENE] Social Innovations for Energy Access: Organizing Sustainable Energy for All

DAY 3 – Wednesday 4 May – 11:45-13:15
Swiss Tech Room 3C | Level Garden

Session Leaders | Summary | Panelists and Abstracts


Session Leaders

Lena Kruckenberg
University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Lena Kruckenberg investigates renewable energy technology adoption and market development through interorganizational networks in Central America. She has recently published an article on renewable energy partnerships in development cooperation in Energy Policy.



Several sessions at the Tech4Dev 2014 Conference pointed to the importance of social innovation for the adoption of technologies in marginalized contexts. It was concluded that the sustainable adoption of low-carbon technologies is conditioned not only by the technologies themselves, or on how they are provided, but also depends on how processes of technological development, financing, transfer and adoption connect with local institutions and practices. Multi-stakeholder collaboration and participatory engagement are seen as best practice – but also as difficult and costly. As we witness a shift from technology-driven to stakeholder-oriented initiatives, questions arise as to how a more sustainable uptake of low-carbon technologies can be organized. This session invites participants to discuss the roles of various forms of social organization in enhancing energy access in marginalized contexts.

The session aims to identify organizational processes and social innovations that open up new avenues for achieving the United Nations’ goal of ‘Sustainable Energy for All’. In particular, it focuses on a) innovative business models for the diffusion of clean energy products; b) on how such models have to be aligned with the wider socio-economic context to which they are introduced, and c) on the potential of novel forms of stakeholder management and ‘institutional innovation’ for meeting the organizational challenges associated with mini-grids for rural electrification and with rice straw-based electricity generation.


Lorenz Gollwitzer, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, Institutional Innovation in the Management of Pro-Poor Energy Access in East Africa


Amelie Heuer, SEED, Germany, Boosting Impact at the Base of the Pyramid: Enhancing the Uptake of Sustainable Energy [PDF Full Paper]


Angela Minas, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines; Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom, Critical Perspectives on Farmer Engagement in Harnessing Bioenergy from Rice Straw: Cases from Southeast Asia


Iva Pesa, Leiden University, The Netherlands, Sawdust Pellets, Micro Gasifying Cook Stoves and Charcoal in Zambia: Understanding the Reasons behind Failure and Success of Improved Cook Stove Initiatives [PDF Full Paper]