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Energizing Development? Renewable energy technologies and social enterprise in rural India

  • Author(s): Pearson, Amanda Marie
  • Advisor(s): Faier, Lieba
  • et al.
Abstract

In India, there has been an outburst of social enterprises seeking to catalyze rural development and simultaneously address environmental concerns by spreading renewable energy technologies. This thesis compares two such organizations in order to answer two important questions: What effects do the shifts towards the social enterprise and renewable energy technologies have on the projects of development organizations in rural India? What are the implications of these changes on the poorest rural inhabitants? The thesis examines the shared assumptions of both organizations, tracing their origins in dominant development discourses and trends. Then, it explores the ways these assumptions manifest in the projects and development imaginings of each, revealing the gaps they create. An awareness of the limitations of these trends is necessary to avoid negative outcomes and direct development efforts to the poorest.

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