Off-grid Solar PV’s role in expanding Energy Access, and Trade related challenges

More than 1 Billion people world over do not have access to quality electricity. Of these, nearly 800 million people live in Asia, while about 630 million people live in Africa. India alone accounts for about 400 million people who lack access to electricity or good-quality primary energy sources.
How can off-grid Solar PV reduce energy poverty and provide? What are the challenges, specifically trade related? How can these issues be addressed? These were the questions RESolve addressed in a whitepaper we produced for International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development(ICTSD), a highly reputed Switzerland based Think tank. The whitepaper was released in December 2013, and we are happy to share the whitepaper with you. Please click on the image below to download it. You can read the Summary of the paper below the image. Please share your comments and feedback to me at madhavan(at)re-solve(dot)in.

International Trade and Access to Sustainable Energy

Issues and Lessons from Country Experiences

by Madhavan Nampoothiri and Hari Manoharan

(An ICTSD Publication –


“How can trade policy respond to the needs and concerns of more than a billion people in the developing world that lack access to energy for fulfilling their daily needs such as cooking and lighting?
An effective way would be address trade barriers to sustainable energy goods that are critical to providing such access. This paper looks at specific examples of sustainable energy goods-namely, solar technologies and associated products that have become an increasingly popular and cost-effective choice to deliver electricity to people not connected to the grid. However barriers to more widespread diffusion of these products still remain. The paper examines a number of domestic policy and market bottlenecks that stifle  growth and the rate of uptake for solar products and how they can be overcome. It then examines patterns of trade in products such as solar lanterns and solar panels,  policies that hinder trade such as import tariffs and taxation and a range of trade-relevant issues including, among others, those related to customs classification practices and delays in customs clearance and standardization. The paper finally explores how some of these trade-related barriers could be addressed within the context of a sustainable energy trade agreement for a positive impact on expanding access to sustainable energy.”
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