Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Renewable Energy Needs in Developing Countries: Barriers That Can Be Solved With Engineering

[+] Author Affiliations
K. McCall Barger, Christopher A. Mattson

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Paper No. IMECE2016-65647, pp. V005T06A025; 6 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Education and Globalization
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5057-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Access to electricity is one of the most essential requirements for development. Furthermore, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted that growth in electricity use is projected to largely come from developing countries as defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, the transition to clean energy is occurring too slowly in rural parts of developing countries. Renewable energy provides the opportunity for sustainable energy to be provided to those living in rural areas of developing countries, who have not had access to clean energy. Renewable energy technology is necessary because traditional measures of energy access are not able to address the deficiencies in the affordability, reliability, and other barriers associated with renewable energy distribution.

While there have been several successful rural electrification technologies in the past few years, sustainable technologies still have the potential to be unsuccessful if they fail to overcome the many barriers that stand in the way of energy progression in developing countries. Moreover, a product’s technical performance is not a sound indicator of how well that product will be adopted by users. This paper argues that technical and social barriers to renewable energy dissemination have not been surmounted due to a lack of innovation in terms of engineering solutions. Innovative “grid-free” engineering products can enable developing countries to avoid a possible industrial revolution while still growing their economy, since they are not hindered by an electricity grid. This paper identifies technical barriers to renewable energy development from the literature, and suggests possible innovations that can aid rural areas of developing countries in achieving electrification. The technology explored in this paper include super capacitors, a ground-air thermoelectric generator, and photovoltaic solar cells, which all have the potential to provide energy access to those living in less urbanized areas of developing countries.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In