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Innovative technology in the Pacific: Building resilience for vulnerable communities

Hills, Jeremy M. and Michalena, Evanthie and Chalvatzis, Konstantinos J. (2018) Innovative technology in the Pacific: Building resilience for vulnerable communities. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 129 . 16 - 26. ISSN 0040-1625

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    Abstract

    Transitioning to sustainability will require innovation, not just in technological and economic terms but also in governance and culture. The work presented here sought a remote, vulnerable island context (Fiji, South Pacific) to enable further insight into the innovation process related to resilience and sustainability. The innovation targeted by this work was off-grid solar renewable energy (RE) systems framed as a development instrument to promote local, community-based resilience to climate change through increased livelihood security and reduction of climate change effects. Applying a local-level resilience framework to solar technology use, we conclude that the RE system can improve resilience, however, unintended consequences included a rush for energy usage causing a "tragedy of commons" of finite stored energy and subsequently increased supplementary fossil fuel use. This suggests that there are still missed resilience opportunities in the way that the innovation is implemented in developing countries and remote areas in particular. Further analysis demonstrated that improved planning at the socio-technological interface has the potential to strengthen communities' resilience. With significant RE investments required for a transition to a low-carbon future in many developing countries, there is a pressing need to effectively introduce innovative uses of technologies. Existential threats to many local communities, and some nations in the Pacific may mean that sub-optimal innovation will not be enough.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Innovation, Pacific island countries, Renewable energy, Vulnerable communities, Resilience
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > Institute of Marine Resources
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 14:58
    Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 15:02
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/11788
    UNSPECIFIED

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