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Title: Beyond implementation : mainstreaming residential solar energy in Trinidad
Author: Neale, Kiron C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 2399
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Small, tropical islands are energy insecure because they depend on precarious fossil fuel markets. The islands of Trinidad, Barbados and Oahu were looked at. Trinidad is the central case study and has low solar technology deployment. Barbados and Oahu have widespread residential solar energy adoption and are used as comparators. The comparisons are used to answer the question: "How could the resident population's energy culture(s) and Government's residential solar energy policies interact to mainstream distributed residential solar energy technologies in Trinidad?" The Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) is used to approach energy transitions (ETs) as the product of a landscape, a regime, and niche's interactions. Mainstreaming as a concept is not explicitly used in the MLP but refers to the process by which niche-innovations enter the regime. However, the MLP's definition of culture was a gap in its approach to ETs. The Energy Cultures Framework is used to define 'culture' in the regime as 'energy cultures' which have norms, practices, material culture and external influences. The study investigates the role(s) of culture in ETs through the mainstreaming of distributed residential solar energy technologies in Trinidad. It focuses on the interactions between 'culture' and 'policy'. Trinidad's historical energy policy literature was reviewed. This was followed by conducting 33 structured interviews with residents in Barbados and Trinidad, and 22 semi-structured interviews with energy officials in Oahu and Trinidad. Inductive and deductive thematic content analyses were respectively used to analyze the interviews. Culture can create policy niches, and be considered to determine the types, goals and designs of policies that should be used to mainstream residential solar energy in Trinidad. More broadly culture transcends the three planes of the MLP and has proactive and reactive roles - which are expressed through niche-creation; technological selectivity; adaptive capacity; resisting change; and reacting to change. Mainstreaming is a useful concept in the MLP because it links innovation-adoption to socio-technical change and studying culture in the MLP broadens the consideration extended towards behaviour in socio-technical interactions.
Supervisor: Eyre, Nicholas ; Jardine, Christian Sponsor: Rhodes Trust ; Santander Bank ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography and the Environment ; Climatic changes ; Energy policy