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Off-Grid Electrical Urbanism: Emerging Solar Energy Geographies in Ordinary Cities

Off-Grid Electrical Urbanism: Emerging Solar Energy Geographies in Ordinary Cities Off-grid solar products, which are typically positioned as a solution to rural energy poverty, have experienced rapid sales growth in urban centers across the Global South over the last decade. In this article, we critically examine the rapidly emerging off-grid electrical urbanism in the Global South, with a focus on how off-grid solar technologies are reshaping urban energy geographies in “ordinary cities.” We document how forms of off-grid electrical urbanisms have emerged as a response to urban energy poverty, drawing on case study insights from Gulu (Uganda), Mzuzu (Malawi), and Luganville (Vanuatu). In doing so, we demonstrate how the flow of off-grid solar products are shaped by a range of differing political economies—including financial flows, migration dynamics, and regional aid programs. We go on to argue that off-grid electrical urbanism, in its current form, is largely underpinned by a marketized model of energy infrastructure dissemination. A model that tends to reproduce geographies of energy inequality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Urban Technology Taylor & Francis

Off-Grid Electrical Urbanism: Emerging Solar Energy Geographies in Ordinary Cities

Journal of Urban Technology , Volume OnlineFirst: 23 – Nov 9, 2022

Off-Grid Electrical Urbanism: Emerging Solar Energy Geographies in Ordinary Cities

Abstract

Off-grid solar products, which are typically positioned as a solution to rural energy poverty, have experienced rapid sales growth in urban centers across the Global South over the last decade. In this article, we critically examine the rapidly emerging off-grid electrical urbanism in the Global South, with a focus on how off-grid solar technologies are reshaping urban energy geographies in “ordinary cities.” We document how forms of off-grid electrical urbanisms have emerged as...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2022 The Society of Urban Technology
ISSN
1466-1853
eISSN
1063-0732
DOI
10.1080/10630732.2022.2068939
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Off-grid solar products, which are typically positioned as a solution to rural energy poverty, have experienced rapid sales growth in urban centers across the Global South over the last decade. In this article, we critically examine the rapidly emerging off-grid electrical urbanism in the Global South, with a focus on how off-grid solar technologies are reshaping urban energy geographies in “ordinary cities.” We document how forms of off-grid electrical urbanisms have emerged as a response to urban energy poverty, drawing on case study insights from Gulu (Uganda), Mzuzu (Malawi), and Luganville (Vanuatu). In doing so, we demonstrate how the flow of off-grid solar products are shaped by a range of differing political economies—including financial flows, migration dynamics, and regional aid programs. We go on to argue that off-grid electrical urbanism, in its current form, is largely underpinned by a marketized model of energy infrastructure dissemination. A model that tends to reproduce geographies of energy inequality.

Journal

Journal of Urban TechnologyTaylor & Francis

Published: Nov 9, 2022

Keywords: hybrid infrastructure; heterogeneous infrastructure; secondary cities; off-grid solar; Vanuatu; Uganda; Malawi

References