Upscaling of business model experiments in off-grid PV solar energy in India

Suyash Jolly, Rob Raven, Henny Romijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Rapidly developing countries like India face numerous challenges related to social and environmental sustainability, which are associated with their fast economic growth and rising energy demand, climate change, and widening disparities between the rich and the poor. Recently, a number of claims have been made in the literature that the prospects of alternative development pathways in emerging economies in Asia are becoming more likely, and that these economies might even leapfrog Western initiatives. This paper contributes by reporting on the five most visible and established initiatives in the area of off-grid PV solar energy in India, specifically homing in on the innovative business models that are evolving. We develop a new typology of upscaling dimensions in order to analyze these five initiatives. They are found to be quite successful, but have difficulty in terms of reaching the poorest of the poor (deep upscaling) and bringing about required institutional change (institutional upscaling).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Business models
  • India
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Solar PV
  • Upscaling

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