What are we doing?
Lighting Vanuatu began in 2010 as a two-year project funded through The Australian Aid – Governance for Growth Programme. The primary objective of the project was to increase access to imported portable solar lanterns for rural Vanuatu communities, in an effort to reduce their dependency on kerosene as their primary source of household lighting.
The project offered a supply-side subsidy to two Vanuatu NGOs (ACTIV and VANREPA) to support the distribution of 24,000 solar lamps into mainly rural areas. The subsidy was aimed at improving the bulk purchasing power of the NGO’s thus reducing the price of the solar lights to households.
We were invited to carry out research on this energy transition from kerosene to solar, and how the mass introduction of pico-solar lights changed the context in which lighting decisions were made. To help understand these changes, we used the Energy Cultures framework.
What we’ve found out so far
The research reinforced the idea that any shift in material culture (e.g. from kerosene lamps to solar lights) may be accompanied by a shift in social norms (e.g. expectations and aspirations for a new technology) and practices (e.g. changes in how people run their everyday lives.
Walton, S., Doering,A., Gabriel,C., Ford,R. (2014). Energy Transitions: Lighting in Vanuatu. Report prepared for The Australian Aid – Governance for Growth Programme. (Click here to view report)