Summing Up

Our aim in this chapter was to use the analytical framework we developed in the previous one to help us identify the key barriers to solar diffusion in the

1990s. In doing so, we found that solar was not by and large held back by unfavourable customer perceptions, or its inability to compete on a cost basis with the alternatives. On the contrary, customers perceived significant advantages to buying and using solar (provided it was properly installed and maintained), and solar was already cost-competitive with the alternatives people used in the absence of a viable electricity grid. The larger obstacles to solar's diffusion proved to be:

• the lack of consumer finance; and

• the lack of a market infrastructure.

Having identified these key barriers, we now turn, in Part II of the book, to explore the role of entrepreneurs in trying to overcome them. In those countries where diffusion subsequently picked up at the turn of the century, it was largely because entrepreneurs either directly or indirectly addressed the main barriers we identified in this chapter. What followed when they did was unprecedented levels of solar diffusion.

Part II

Case Studies in Entrepreneurship and Policy Formation

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