Journal article

Adoption rationales and effects of off-grid renewable energy access for African youth: A case study from Tanzania

Publication Details

Author list: Simpson N, Rabenold, C, Sowman M, Shearing C.

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Volume number: 141

Issue number: 110793

Total number of pages: 14

ISSN: 1364-0321



Inclusive energy access remains elusive globally. Centrally planned energy infrastructures tend to neglect marginalised and disparate populations while upfront costs make it rare for lower-income actors to adopt off-grid renewable energy. This article identifies one emerging response by low-income actors to secure access to through solar photovoltaic energy and an innovative micro-finance enterprise. The AMP framework (awareness, motivation and pathways) is used to explore how and why Tanzanian youths are adopting solar photovoltaic energy and with what effects. Qualitative interviews and field observations indicate awareness and motivational factors of technology, cost, warranty and service influence initial adoption decisions. Nodes of off-grid renewable energy associate with co-benefits of poverty reduction, low-carbon energy access and diversification away from livelihoods that are highly vulnerable to climate change. Framed as a ‘pathway’, the innovative financing mechanism in this case presents an inclusive model of energy access. These findings extend the AMP framework to include consideration of obstacles within the notion of pathways. The case highlights a potential model for energy access and emerging nodes of decentralised and distributed energy modalities, that are potentially more climate resilient, as low-income actors seek to secure access.


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Adaptation, Africa, Climate adaptation, Microfinance, Modern energy, Poor and vulnerable, Solar power, Sustainable energy services, Sustainable power, Technological capabilities, Value chains and markets

Last updated on 2021-18-02 at 09:05