Technology cooperation for sustainable energy: a review of pathways


  • Alexandra Mallett

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    • School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Sussex Energy Group, Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
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Policy makers, practitioners and academics agree that addressing climate change requires global efforts and that one pillar of any effective approach must include actions undertaken by developing countries. A key mechanism in which developing countries can be engaged is through collaboration to elicit more use of sustainable energy technologies in a region, organization, or community's energy portfolio. Approaches have tended to emphasize the role of the public and/or private sector. An alternative view has also emerged, termed as community approach, noting the absence of civil society actors in the predominant pathways that often characterize technology cooperation in developing countries. Local engagement is important, as it is often these players [whether local governments, community groups, and/or organizations (e.g. hospitals, schools)] who ultimately reap the benefits and/or bear the costs of these technologies. Recent emphasis centres on an enabling environment, recognizing the importance of creating markets for technology diffusion. Tackling the uptake of sustainable energy in a systematic way, emphasis is placed on policies, actors, and institutions. Building on these foundational frameworks, this paper scrutinizes actors and their relationships with a finer grain to better understand sustainable energy technology uptake. The notion is that sustainable energy technology use will increase with the active engagement of local players (earlier on, in a more meaningful way) in the technology cooperation process.