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Title: Designing product-service systems applied to distributed renewable energy in low-income and developing contexts : a strategic design toolkit
Author: Emili, Silvia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 1593
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2017
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Nowadays about 1.2 billion people in world lack modern access to electricity, with the majority of them living in rural areas in low-income and developing contexts. This research addresses the issue of energy access by investigating the design of sustainable business models, and in particular by exploring the combination of Product-Service Systems (PSS) with Distributed Renewable Energy systems (DRE). The combination of PSS and DRE represents a new design approach to explore promising business models for energy access and to deliver clean and affordable solutions in low-income contexts. The overall aim of this research is to explore the applications of PSS and DRE in low-income and developing contexts, thus defining characteristics of these models, their variables and critical factors. Additionally, this research aims at developing a support for companies, practitioners and other stakeholders for designing sustainable PSS applied to DRE, with a specific focus on the idea generation phase of new solutions. The first part of this PhD resulted in the development of a classification system for PSS applied to DRE, in the identification of 15 Archetypal Models and in the collection of critical factors to successfully implement these models. Then, these findings have been translated into three tools for designing PSSs applied to DRE: the Innovation Map, the Design Framework and Cards, the Energy System Map. These tools have been tested, refined and evaluated through a series of iterative applications in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and the UK. Through the testing activities, which involved a wide range of companies, NGOs, practitioners and experts, the usefulness, usability and completeness of the tools were demonstrated. This research concludes with reflections on the design process for different scenarios of applications and by highlighting further research activities for the field of PSS applied to DRE in low-income and developing contexts.
Supervisor: Harrison, D. ; Ceschin, F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Energy access ; Business model design ; Design for sustainability ; Design for the base of the pyramid ; Sustainable energy