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Affordable solar solutions to replace diesel gensets

Harjit Singh (Institute of Management Education, Ghaziabad, India)

Publication date: 1 July 2011


Subject area

Strategic management, sustainable development, business economics, construction management, energy management.

Study level/applicability

Undergraduate and Master's level business and management programmes with a focus on environmental or strategic management.

Case overview

Fewer than two percent of Guinea Bissau's rural households had access to electricity from the grid. Efforts by the state monopoly to improve that figure by expanding the grid have had little effect, in part because the rural population was sparse. Central Electronics Limited, a public sector based company in India, was assigned to develop economic solar systems as a safe and eco-friendly substitute for the diesel gensets under IBSA (a trilateral, developmental initiative among India, Brazil, and South Africa) with the help of United Nations Development Program. The case provides an opportunity to examine the strategy of a small and poor nation to meet the needs of modern energy sources needed for improvement in health, education, transportation, and commercial development. The case focuses on Guinea Bissau's use of a trilateral partnership to achieve its rural electrification objectives despite several push backs.

Expected learning outcomes

Students will demonstrate ability to analyse, comprehend, and evaluate the essence of solar energy as an alternate for costly grid energy in the initial stage of development. It will also provide students to converse with the specific advantages of solar systems over conventional power generating systems and construct a novel solution that serves the needs of various stakeholders at the bottom of the income pyramid.

Supplementary materials

Teaching note.



Singh, H. (2011), "Affordable solar solutions to replace diesel gensets", , Vol. 1 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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