Category: Selling Solar

Lesson 3: Focus on finance

In Selling Solar, we have seen that there were two critical forms of finance necessary for diffusion: consumer finance for customers who wanted to buy solar systems and venture finance for entrepreneurs who were selling them. Both kinds of finance will be critical to the diffusion of renewable energy in emerging markets. When customers buy […]

Accelerating a Renewable Energy Future

As promised at the outset, the story of Selling Solar offers some ‘big picture’ lessons. Specifically, five lessons can be distilled to accelerate a renewable energy future. These lessons are primarily intended for policymakers with an interest in renewable energy in emerging markets. But it would not hurt for policymakers in industrialized countries to absorb […]


By now the framework will have helped the analyst draw three sets of conclu­sions: 1 It will have helped isolate the key barriers to diffusion of the innovation in question. 2 It will have shed light on how and why entrepreneurs are able, or not able, to effectively surmount these barriers. 3 It will have […]


By ‘resources’ we mean capital. Without capital, even the most effective entre­preneur is unlikely to affect diffusion. Of course, the amount of capital that needs to be raised will depend on the barriers identified and the entrepreneurs’ strategies for surmounting them. If the innovation is not yet competitive, then the entrepreneur’s capital requirements are likely […]


By ‘capacities’ we mean the prior experience entrepreneurs bring to their busi­nesses, and the key lessons they have learned along the way. Both of these inform business strategy, and influence the entrepreneur’s effectiveness in overcoming barriers to diffusion. In the case of solar, we identified the core barriers to diffusion as the lack of consumer […]