Design Principles for Renewable Energy Programs in Developing Countries

Benjamin Sovacool


This article introduces readers to the concept of energy poverty and the types of renewable energy technologies that can overcome it. It discusses the benefits of solar home systems, residential wind turbines, biogas digesters and gasifiers, microhydro dams, and improved cookstoves and the various mechanisms planners and policymakers have utilized to disseminate these technologies. Then, based on four years of field research studying programs in Bangladesh, China, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea, the article presents twelve lessons for how policymakers and development planners can improve future renewable energy projects. These lessons include selecting appropriate technology matched in scale and quality to the energy services communities desire, emphasizing affordability rather than installed capacity, and viewing communities and end-users as active participants in energy production and use rather than passive consumers.


public policy, policy design

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

@Annual Review of Policy Design ISSN: ISSN 2291-6989