Affordable innovation facilitating renewable energy deployment: Two ‘smart’ energy poverty alleviation case examples


Ronald Beckett


This paper considers one aspect of UN Sustainable
Development Goal SDG7 - the intention to \textquotesingle leave no-one
behind\textquotesingle{} in the transition to renewable energy. The
target beneficiaries have access to affordable electricity restricted in
some way. Two examples of affordable innovation based on artificial
intelligence-driven microgrid technology serving clients in developing
and developed economies are presented. These initiatives provide direct
economic, environmental and social benefits, but also add to the quantum
of renewable energy generated in their local areas. A multiplicity of
community, enterprise and government actors cooperate in establishing
and operating the particular programs described, and community benefits
extend beyond simple economic outcomes, e.g., building social capital
and trust in the technology. A model characterizing a broader view of
SDG 7 realization dynamics is presented. This includes the
identification of four kinds of learning space and the notion of tipping
points, which may be topics for further research.