Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Examining the Issue of Centralization and Decentralization in the Development of Soft and Hard Energy Path in the Developing World

Version 1 : Received: 30 January 2021 / Approved: 2 February 2021 / Online: 2 February 2021 (11:14:25 CET)

How to cite: Khan, M.S. Examining the Issue of Centralization and Decentralization in the Development of Soft and Hard Energy Path in the Developing World. Preprints 2021, 2021020084 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0084.v1). Khan, M.S. Examining the Issue of Centralization and Decentralization in the Development of Soft and Hard Energy Path in the Developing World. Preprints 2021, 2021020084 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0084.v1).

Abstract

A reliable and affordable energy supply is a fundamental prerequisite for reducing poverty, promoting investment, and boosting economic growth in the developing world. Among the different challenges that developing countries face, chronic energy crises are harrowing. The crises result from the unsatisfactory state of the central grid, a misguided energy mix, and ill-informed policies, among other things. The possibility of solving energy crises through a variety of alternative solutions is worth exploring. This review discusses two paths of energy development side by side: a traditional “hard” path of energy development (i.e., central grid extension powered by fossil fuels and nuclear energy expansion) and a relatively recent “soft” path of energy development, which is based on energy conservation and the deployment of renewable energy resources. This paper focuses on one central axis of the discussion: centralization vs. decentralization. This discussion, in turn, has technological, economic/business, and political dimensions. Finally, the paper discusses the significance of the debate from meeting the developing world’s energy demands. The paper intends not to prefer one or another path of energy development, nor it gives recommendations on diffusing or adopting those development paths. Instead, it explores the literature’s central arguments that might help frame the questions for further research. While this debate could be used to ask interesting questions that might help solve the energy crisis in the developing world, the discussion informs countries to advance policies specific to their circumstances under the umbrella of a sound and thoughtful energy productivity policy framework.

Subject Areas

soft energy; hard energy; decentralization; centralization; sustainable systems; developing world

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