Socio-technical-ecological evaluations of the potential to implement renewable energy sources in coastal areas of tropical developing countries – an East African case study
Report, 2008

The suggested project aims at evaluating the potential for a successful implementation of renewable energy sources in the coastal zone of tropical developing countries integrating results from different scientific disciplines (ecology, social science and technology) into a useful support for development policy. Its emphasis will be on remote areas where poor infrastructures raise the demand for independent electricity supplies. Moreover, the project intends to identify key-issues and sociotechnical pathways for a future integration of suitable renewable energy sources in such areas. The research will be based on analyses of the relationships between technical, ecological and social systems and focus on applying adequate technology in a socially and ecologically feasible way. The energy sources considered will be selected from local natural flowing resources, i.e. mainly tidal, stream, and wave energies. With funding from Sida (SAREC Planning Grant) and Adlerbertska Forskningsstiftelsen, a planning study was carried out during October – November 2007, including the subsequent parts: 1) meetings with representatives from several concerned institutions in Mozambique and in Tanzania 2) field visit to remote rural areas in southern Tanzania where hydrographical and coast morphological features were documented 3) meetings with village representatives in remote rural southern Tanzania in order to collect information about living standards, energy demands and development intentions Compiled results from the three parts are presented in this report and will constitute a baseline for the forthcoming application of Sida Project grant, to be handed in April 2008. When taking part of the results it is important to keep in mind that the suggested project does not intend to construct any actual power plants, or pilot plants, but to study the prerequisites and consequences, technical, natural as well as societal in order to evaluate if and how a future implementation of these recent technologies could be carried out in a feasible and sustainable way. This report is written with a plain perspective and contains no abstract. As the proceedings of the study will be the basis for a research application in progress, conclusions will instead be developed within that context.

socio-technical system

wave power

tidal power

coastal-zone management


renewable energy

detached grids

rural electrification

innovation system

sustainability assessment of technology


developing countries


Sverker Molander

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Martin Gullström

Sverker C. Jagers

Subject Categories

Other Environmental Engineering

Report / Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology: 2008:2

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