Category: Technical Report

The Smart Villages Initiative: Findings 2014-2017

In the Smart Villages concept, the provision of sustainable energy services to rural communities, in turn enabling the connectivity made possible by modern information and communication technologies, can have a catalytic impact on the lives of villagers when appropriately integrated with other rural development initiatives. Smart villages provide many of the benefits of 21st Century …

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TR15: Can Smart Villages help to stem biodiversity loss?

Biodiversity is important at various levels, including the economic, social and environmental. It is critically important for rural communities through the provision of ecosystem services, including energy access, a link that is often overlooked. The concept of ‘Smart Villages’ is that modern energy access in the form of sustainable renewable energy can contribute as a catalyst for development—education, health, food security, environment, productive …

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TR14: Rural Electrification and Democratic Engagement

As the purpose of this paper is to give a broad overview of the importance of energy access for democratic political engagement, such issues are not robustly tackled within this comparatively brief insight into what is a vast and constantly changing arena. The goal here is to give an insight into the potential of the Internet and social media (enabled …

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TR13: Education and the electrification of rural schools

The Smart Villages Initiative aims to provide policy-makers, donors, and development agencies concerned with rural energy access with new insights on the real barriers to energy access in villages in developing countries and how they can be overcome. This report aims to give an overview of the links between electricity access and education through a review of the literature in this area. It …

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TR12: Electrification of health clinics in rural areas

This report provides an overview of the status of, and challenges facing, the electrification of health clinics in rural areas in the developing world. In addition, it considers the opportunities provided by telemedicine and the barriers to this, along with some examples of innovation and work in this field. The content of this report has been drawn from a review of the …

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TR11: Making Smart Villages a Reality

Access to reliable, affordable and clean energy is a cornerstone of sustainable development. Despite this 1.2 billion people continue to have no access to electricity and a further 3 billion are energy poor. Often cited reasons for the lack of progress include the technological and financial difficulties associated with bringing electricity to rural areas due …

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TR10: Indigenous communities, ICT and rural development

The vast majority of the rural development literature focuses on relatively homogenous ethnolinguistic communities based in periurban and middle-rural areas. This literature has borne much fruit and there is now a general consensus among academics, practitioners and policy makers on the broad parameters of what is required to catalyse rural development in these areas, though …

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TR9: Business models for mini-grids

This report focuses on mini-grids that generate a substantial portion of electricity using renewable energy sources. The IEA (2011) estimates that mini-grids are the best solution for providing electricity to 45% of the rural population without access to electricity. Mini-grids can utilise locally available energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydro. Using locally available renewable energy sources has the advantage of low …

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TR8: The future of DC systems for the off-grid environment

Rural areas that are not connected to an electricity grid are nevertheless seeking to increase their use of electricity to support services such as healthcare, education, and entertainment, and for productive uses to increase incomes. Such increases in electricity use in rural communities—“ climbing the energy ladder”—require a step-change in electricity provision to currently off-grid households. The supply of electricity through centralised generation and …

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TR7: Energy and agriculture for smart villages in India

The concept of the “smart village”, as developed by the Smart Villages Initiative, is that modern energy access acts as a catalyst for development—education, health, food security, productive enterprise, environment, and participatory democracy—which in turn supports further improvements in energy access. In the global context, energy access can provide a much needed driver for sustainable economic growth and development for …

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TR6: Rubagabaga Mini-Hydro Public-Private-Community Partnership Project – Baseline data analysis

The Smart Villages Initiative is undertaking a set of rigorous impact evaluations to understand the relationship between modern energy access, its productive use, and rural development outcomes. Through building an evidence-base, the Smart Villages Initiative will help stimulate the investment of public and private sector resources in off-grid energy and rural development and ensure that …

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TR5: The Smart Villages Initiative: Interim review of findings

This report summarises the findings and recommendations arising from the engagement activities of the Smart Villages Initiative in East Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and South America over the first 18-month period (October 2014 – March 2016) of the first phase of the initiative. Over that period, workshops and other engagement activities involved over 600 …

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Business models for home-based electricity services

This technical report reviews the business models used by pioneer firms in the solar home-based electricity services industry, specifically pico-solar lighting systems and solar home systems. Drawing on the grey and academic literature, the report provides a detailed industry overview, assesses key components of business models, and identifies remaining challenges and ways forward. Industry overview …

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TR3: Smart Villages – the gender and energy context

Whilst gender inequality is not something that can be solved purely by energy access, with the Smart Villages Initiative’s integrated vision for energy in rural villages, we can aim towards a coordinated and effective approach to gender in rural development more broadly and have a positive effect on the fight against gender inequality. This report …

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TR2: Electricity for off-grid villages – an overview

This ‘State of Play’ ‘technical report provides a review of the literature relating to the issues around provision of electricity to off-grid villages in 2015. It summarises key challenges associated with the provision of electricity to off-grid villages, and views set out in the literature on the opportunities and required framework conditions to address those …

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TR1: Smart Villages Scoping Study

This 2012 scoping study analyses aspects of contemporary work concerning village-level energy services in developing countries. African countries, particularly Ghana and Tanzania, and India are the primary geographical focus. The study also analyses social businesses and entrepreneurship in the area of sustainable off-grid energy provision. This study, carried out at the behest of the European …

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