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Sustainable rural electrification: harnessing a cosmolocal wind

Troullaki Aikaterini, Rozakis Stylianos, Latoufis Kostas, Giotitsas, Chris, Priavolou, Christina, 1990-, Freire Fausto

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Year 2022
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation K. Troullaki, S. Rozakis, K. Latoufis, C. Giotitsas, C. Priavolou, and F. Freire, “Sustainable rural electrification: harnessing a cosmolocal wind,” Energies, vol. 15, no. 13, June 2022, doi: 10.3390/en15134659.
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In this article, we explore the sustainability potential of an alternative commons-based mode of production called cosmolocalism. Cosmolocal production combines global knowledge production with local physical production. Such a production mode has been applied across the globe for locally manufacturing small wind turbines (SWTs) for rural electrification. We assess the sustainability of such cosmolocal SWTs in a case study of electrifying a rural community in Ethiopia. In this context, the life cycles of five SWT alternatives have been compared, ranging from conventional industrially produced turbines to open-source locally manufactured and maintained ones. Our case study indicates that the local manufacturing and maintenance of SWTs offer significant advantages and may redeem small wind turbines as a sustainable component for rural electrification. Specifically, the fully cosmolocal alternative (A1) performs better than any other alternative in technical, environmental, and social criteria, while it is close to the best-performing alternative with regard to economic objectives. For this solution to be implemented, the institutional burden cannot be neglected, but can rather be considered a sine qua non condition for locally manufactured and maintained SWTs. A set of generic institutional interventions to create favourable conditions for cosmolocal production is proposed, which needs to be elaborated in a context-specific manner.

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