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Selling Solar: The Diffusion of Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets

By: Damian Miller

306 pages, Figs, tabs


Paperback | Nov 2010 | #189029 | ISBN-13: 9781849712101
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £33.99 $45/€38 approx
Hardback | Feb 2009 | #175481 | ISBN-13: 9781844075188
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £110.00 $144/€123 approx

About this book

To solve the looming climate change crisis, the world will need to make a profound technological shift to cleaner sources of energy. One technology that has enormous potential, especially in rural areas of many emerging markets, is solar photovoltaic technology for electricity. Yet, the progress of this technology has been disappointingly slow since its introduction in the 1980s. In this book, the author seeks to explain why this has been the case, arguing that the market for solar has been ready for the last decade, it just took time for entrepreneurial firms to pioneer this new business, and for the right policies to take shape to encourage and support them. Once that happened, diffusion ramped up leading to the beginning of what can truly be called a solar revolution.

The author draws on the compelling, but often overlooked, literature on innovation diffusion to guide the analysis. Such literature has tremendous applicability to understanding the up-take of solar energy, as it does to the up-take of other green innovations. The author then adds to this literature, by drawing in the transformative impact of entrepreneurs and their firms. Selling Solar puts business at the centre of its analysis, as the pivotal agent that will drive change, but also recognizes that business responds to incentives set by policy. The author reviews that policies have and have not worked for solar in emerging markets. He concludes by calling on market mechanisms, such as carbon markets, to be made to work for solar, and considers the broader lessons for clean energy diffusion.

'Few missions are more important than solarizing the developing world - Few people have more experience of this task than Damian Miller. This unmissable book is the story of making it happen.' Jeremy Leggett, Founder and Executive Chairman of Solar Century, and author of Half Gone and The Carbon War 'Selling Solar sheds light on the failures, successes, lessons learned and best-practice in the history of solar innovation diffusion in emerging market economies. Its analyses and sound recommendations, deriving from the author's long practice in this field, will provide a practical guideline in the future.' Hermann Scheer, General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy and President of EUROSOLAR 'An extremely useful publication which provides a very valuable assessment of how solar energy can be harnessed on a large scale using market approaches.' R. K. Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 'Selling Solar is for everyone in the business of solar and solar support ... the solar trip of a lifetime from an expert who has experienced it all.' Photon International 'This book moves way beyond the headlines and explores the current and future of an exciting and dynamic industry.' Daniel Kammen, Professor, University of California Berkeley, Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory 'With a combination of entrepreneurial vision, persistence and policy innovation, Damian believes that the world can ignite a market for solar that always existed and was just waiting to happen.' Judge Business School, University of Cambridge 'There are books that inform, those that instruct, and those that inspire - Selling Solar does it all, and manages to be an absorbing and entertaining read at the same time.' Green Energy 'A report from the front line of entrepreneurial enterprise.' International Journal of Ambient Energy 'This book should be recommended reading for any policymaker who participated at the Copenhagen summit in December 2009 and really wants to make a difference in developing countries.' Institute of Physics Energy Group Newsletter 'The book provides an excellent argument for the need to ignite local entrepreneurs to establish infrastructure (sales, service and inventory) and to develop consumer credit in order to deliver a high capital item like solar in any market, developing or developed. I therefore support its primary conclusion, and recommend the book to interested readers.' Energy News 'The book is a land mark.' Renewable Energy Spectrum Magazine 'This richly-sourced overview of all the ways solar energy is operating in the lives of millions of rural and less-affluent people is quite inspiring! ...The Green Transition is clearly underway worldwide, as Damian Miller documents in this useful book.'


Part I - Solar and Diffusion Theory
Solar in the Emerging Markets
Diffusion Theory and Entrepreneurship
Theory Applied to Solar

Part II - Case Studies in Entrepreneurship and Policy Formation
Solar Goes Commercial
Entrepreneurs as Agents of Change
World Bank on a Learning Curve

Part III - Policy and Conclusions
Policy Guidance: Seeing it Like an Entrepreneur
Solar Tomorrow: 100 Million Solar Homes
Accelerating a Renewable Energy Future

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Damian Miller is the CEO of Orb Energy, a leading provider of solar energy solutions in India. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and brings more than ten years of solar industry experience. Selling Solar is written from the perspective of someone who has both analysed and influenced the diffusion of solar energy in emerging markets.

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