Solar Transitions: Off-grid energy choices from a household perspective – experiences from India and Kenya Large developing economies: The rural-urban divide, air pollution and climate policy, Oslo, 8th May 2013 (CICERO) Tanja Winther, PhD Social anthropology/MSc Power engineering The Solar Transitions Project (2009-13) Village scale solar systems for development Transfer of social and technological innovations between India and Kenya Part 1 INDIA: Lessons learned Part 2 KENYA: Action research Funded by the Research Council of Norway ‘Are you really sure there will be a copy machine?’ Sub-chief of Ikisaya, Kenya, February 2012 2013 ‘When I know what the President looks like, I will feel as beeing part of Kenya’ Elderly, male participant during public meeting in Ikisaya, 2011 Outline • • • • • • General dilemmas, local electricity systems From India to Kenya: lessons learned The Ikisaya context and people’s priorities Inclusion of women Access achieved Conclusion Contradiction? Sustainable energy system Positive social impact Local electricity systems/local participation: a dilemma • Local identification of needs and goals • Often mainly involves key people / leaders Who is represented in village councils? Who represent ‘the household’? Who has ability to pay? Criteria for selection of staff etc. Uroa village, Zanzibar The Sunderbans, West Bengal • • • Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity + mini-grids Participatory process Flat tariff: 3-points (70W) or 5 points (120) Benefits: - better quality of light - efficient time-use - access to appliances - mobile charging - cheaper than kerosene Those who received connection: - live close to village markets - could afford connection fee (12-32 USD) - signed up early Income vs. connection fee The Sunderbans Monthly income (INR) Monthly income (USD) Connection fee: share of income Teacher 20 000 430 5% Day labourer 3 000 64 33% Cleaning worker 1 600 34 62% Women: limited power to decide on matters related to electricity • • • • Male dominated local administration Ideology: Provider vs Housewife Male ownership to land, houses and appliances Generations/kinship: Marrying into husband’s family Effect: women less control over electricity than men (e.g. limited access to mobile phones compared to men, men decide where to put up the light?) Sunderban homes, occurrence of light points (n=106) 54% Bedroom/ store room /shrine 54 % Cow shed 63% Living room / dining room 38% 38 % Kitchen 63 % Veranda / outdoors 58 % 58% Bathroom 1% Signs of women’s empowerment, the Sunderbans • Low divorce rate; long term security • Availability of mobiles constitutes a little ‘revolution’, (cf. Tenhunen 2008 and Winther forthcoming) Conclusion, the Sunderbans • • • • • • Dense settlement pattern: mini-grids suited Barrier: connection fee Over-consumption, problems with battery replacement Increasing differences between groups Women had limited influence Project outcomes and impact closely tided to existing ideologies and practices (e.g. gender, generation, homework) Existing social organisation + new technology shaped the new solutions Implications for the Kenyan pilot • • • • • Make electricity services as cheap as possible Pay-per-service instead of fixed installations? Financially sustainable system (operation/maint.) Focus on trust and customer compliance Include various groups and both genders in the process of electrification and operation • (limited project budget) Ikisaya village, Kenya Ikisaya context • • • • • • • • • • • • Highly spread settlement pattern Severe problems with drought Lack of water Agro-pastoralists (oxes, goats) Many working corporations / groups No health clinic (one private pharmacy) Two primary schools Three churches 12-15 small shops/kiosks Common mode of transport: walking, donkeys Girls/Women: risk of sexual violence outdoors at night time Daily routines incl. current use of light and mobile phones Methods for broad inclusion Initial field visits Village leaders Survey mapping needs Households (m&w) Study productive uses of el Households and groups (m&w) Field visits: existing routines, needs & challenges Leaders, key people, meetings, focus groups, elders’ group, single mothers, children Mapping political situation Key people in the distinct groups Criteria for hiring staff Motivation & experience Training (Repeated visits, phone calls Staff, board etc) Goal: to obtain a nuanced picture of the challenges, needs and desires perceived by various groups Including women in the planning, implementation and operation • • • • • • Research assistants (1 of 2) Committee for hiring staff Staff (1 of 4) Group of executives Board of the CBO (6 of 12) Research group (5 of 12) Political balance: • Board: 2 rep. from 6 wards Reported needs: many directed at meeting the challenge of long distances • • • • • • • • • • Water supply (pump) Light for reading at school and at home Light for comfortable living Cooling capacity for storing medicine Charging mobile phones Copy machine in the village Photo service in the village PC at school: ‘computer literacy’ Watch the President on television: ‘be part of Kenya’ Business Broad access The Ikisaya Energy Centre, March 2012 Conclusion • Off-grid electricity may provide new energy choices that are felt as deeply needed • Context sensitive approaches are more likely to produce sustainable energy systems and have a positive social impact • Unequal power relations may be compensated by including various groups in the process/project - and by continuously promoting gender balance Winther, T. The impact of electricity. Development, desires and dilemmas. Berghahn Books, 2008. Winther, T. The introduction of electricity in the Sunderban Islands: Conserving or transforming gender relations? In K.B. Nielsen and A.K.Waldorp (eds), Transforming Gender in India. Anthem Press (in progress). Winther, T. Space, time and socio-material relationships: Moral aspects of the arrival of electricity in rural Zanzibar. In S. Strauss, S. Rupp and T.Love (eds), Cultures of energy. Power, practices, technologies. California: Left Coast Press, 2013. Winther, T. Negotiating energy and gender: Ethnographic illustrations from Zanzibar and Sweden. In K. Bjørkdahl and K. B. Nielsen (eds), Development and Environment. Practices, theories, policies. Oslo: Akademika Publishing. 2012. T. Winther. Electricity theft as a relational issue: A comparative look at Zanzibar, Tanzania, and the Sunderban Islands, India. Energy for Sustainable Development, 2012, 16(1). K. Ulsrud, T. Winther, D.Palit, H.Roracher and J.Sandgren. The Solar Transitions research on solar mini-grids in India: Learning from local cases of innovative socio-technical systems”. Energy for Sustainable Development, 2011, 15.