System Design for Sustainable Energy for all. A new challenging role for design to foster sustainable development
This paper argues that Product-Service System Design for Sustainability applied to Distributed Renewable Energy DRE) is a promising approach to help achieve the goal of “Sustainable energy for all” (United Nation). Firstly, two understandings are presented: 1) Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) is a key leverage for sustainable development and; 2) Product-Service System (PSS) is a promising model for sustainable development. Based on those understandings two consequent research hypotheses are presented: 1) S.PSS is a promising model for DRE and is particularly relevant for the distributed and informal economies in low-middle income (all) contexts; 2) (Product-Service) System Design for Sustainable energy for all is a new challenging role for design. The recently awarded LeNSes (Learning Network on Sustainable energy system) EU project (bi-regional with Africa) is based on these hypotheses and it is introduced in terms of its aims and expected results, i.e. to deepen and diffuse the knowledge-base and know-how of system design for sustainable energy for all. Finally, two best practices of DRE-based S.PSS are described, one is the recently awarded (2014 International Ashden) project ‘M-POWER Off-grid electric services in Arusha, Tanzania’ and the second is the pilot implementation of the ‘Sunride sustainable mobility system in Cape Town’.
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