Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30075
The Transfer of Energy Technologies in a Developing Country Context Towards Improved Practice from Past Successes and Failures

Authors: Lindiwe O. K. Mabuza, Alan C. Brent, Maxwell Mapako

Abstract:

Technology transfer of renewable energy technologies is very often unsuccessful in the developing world. Aside from challenges that have social, economic, financial, institutional and environmental dimensions, technology transfer has generally been misunderstood, and largely seen as mere delivery of high tech equipment from developed to developing countries or within the developing world from R&D institutions to society. Technology transfer entails much more, including, but not limited to: entire systems and their component parts, know-how, goods and services, equipment, and organisational and managerial procedures. Means to facilitate the successful transfer of energy technologies, including the sharing of lessons are subsequently extremely important for developing countries as they grapple with increasing energy needs to sustain adequate economic growth and development. Improving the success of technology transfer is an ongoing process as more projects are implemented, new problems are encountered and new lessons are learnt. Renewable energy is also critical to improve the quality of lives of the majority of people in developing countries. In rural areas energy is primarily traditional biomass. The consumption activities typically occur in an inefficient manner, thus working against the notion of sustainable development. This paper explores the implementation of technology transfer in the developing world (sub-Saharan Africa). The focus is necessarily on RETs since most rural energy initiatives are RETs-based. Additionally, it aims to highlight some lessons drawn from the cited RE projects and identifies notable differences where energy technology transfer was judged to be successful. This is done through a literature review based on a selection of documented case studies which are judged against the definition provided for technology transfer. This paper also puts forth research recommendations that might contribute to improved technology transfer in the developing world. Key findings of this paper include: Technology transfer cannot be complete without satisfying pre-conditions such as: affordability, maintenance (and associated plans), knowledge and skills transfer, appropriate know how, ownership and commitment, ability to adapt technology, sound business principles such as financial viability and sustainability, project management, relevance and many others. It is also shown that lessons are learnt in both successful and unsuccessful projects.

Keywords: Technology transfer, technology management, renewable energy, sustainable development.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1077385

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1258

References:


[1] P. Hudnut, T. Bauer and N. Lorenz. Appropriate Organizational Design: A hybrid business model for technology transfer to the developing world, 2006. http://www.biz.colostate.edu/faculty/paulh/articles
[2] J. MacDonald, Climate Change: "A challenge to the Means of Technology Transfer", 1992. Available: http://repositories.cdlib.org/ igcc/PP/PP02/ accessed in May 2007.
[3] O.K. Kassiri, Options for Sustainable Energy Generation in the Developing World: Financing Mechanisms, Technologies and Policies, 2003. Available: http://lfee.mit.edu/publications/ Publication No. LFEE 2003-004 TH
[4] T. Forsyth, "Partnerships for Technology Transfer. How can investors and communities build renewable energy in Asia." A Briefing Paper, 2005 Available: http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk
[5] Science and Development Network, An overview of technology transfer for developing countries, (2007) Available: http://www.scidev.net/dossiers/. Accessed May 2007.
[6] S.E, Mangwengwende, Increasing Electricity Access while ensuring financial viability: Perspectives for the African electricity industry. Paper presented at the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD) Workshop on Electricity and Development, Nairobi, 13-14 July 2005.
[7] M. Mapako, Renewables and Energy for Rural Energy for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Zimbabwe. In Mapako M and Mbewe A (Eds) (2004). Renewables and Energy for Rural Energy for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Zed Books. London, 2004.
[8] B. Maboyi, Technology Transfer Overlooked in GEF Solar project. In Renewable Energy for Development, December 1995, Vol 8, No 4, Available: http://www.sei.se
[9] P. Bikam, and D.J. Mulaudzi, Solar energy trial in Folovhodwe South Africa: lessons for policy and decision-makers. In Renewable Energy, Vol 31, Issue 10, pp 1561-1571, August 2006. Available: http://www.sciencedirect.com/
[10] M. Mapako, Fuelwood Stoves and Biogas: Selected Experiences from Zimbabwe and Botswana, in Sustainable Energy: A Decade of Integration", Proceedings of INFORSE workshops at the World Solar Summit, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 1996.
[11] S. Karekezi, Renewable Energy in Africa. Downloaded from arjournals.annualreviews.org/aronline by CSIR on 05/03/07. In Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. Vol 19: pp387 - 421, 1994.
[12] D.M Kammen, Research, Development and Commercialization of the Kenya Ceramic Jiko and other Improved Biomass Stoves in Africa. 2001. Solutions Site Case Study Downloaded from: http;//www.solutions-site.org (May2007)