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MicroEnergy Product Service Systems

MicroEnergy Product Service Systems: An approach to mitigate technological risks for microfinance Solar Home Systems, by Noara Kebir, Candidate of the Postgraduate Research Program Microenergy Systems

Seventy percent of the world’s population that is currently without access to electricity services can only be reached by decentralized solutions such as Solar Home Systems (SHS). The majority of this segment of the population is both located in the Global South and lives under either extreme or relative poverty conditions, a barrier that hinders them to invest in such a system.  In addition, this group generally completely lacks or has limited access to financial services, accordingly, microfinance institutions play a crucial role in overcoming this barrier. 

As every financing institution, MFIs have to evaluate investments and to understand opportunities and risks associated to SHS. The aim of this thesis is to identify technological risks for microfinanced SHS and to propose an approach to develop and implement strategies to mitigate these risks. This is done through a literature review and by adapting and further developing a design method for Product Service Systems. Concretely, the Layer Method for Product-Service Systems have been applied to a case study in Tanzania and a second case study in Uganda. Lessons learned are used to propose the MicroEnergy Product Service System Method (ME PSS Method) to identify, improve and monitor technological risks of microfinanced SHS.

This ME PSS Method has been developed using qualitative data. It is recommended to do further research using more quantitative data and to develop a computer supported interface.

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