By Jeff McMahon

It’s a popular idea in the energy and climate-change crowd: developing countries can leapfrog the kind of sprawling electrical grid we have in the United States, with its centralized power plants, and go directly to a future in which homes and businesses generate clean electricity from the sun and share it over mini-grids.

Many developing countries leapfrogged the old wired telephone system, after all, and went straight to cellular phones.

But some researchers are discovering that may not be what the developing world wants.

“What we learned over time is that people don’t like the solar panels very much,” University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone said at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “The sun doesn’t shine all the time. The batteries that are associated with them catch fire and all kinds of nasty things…”

Continue reading at Forbes…

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Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
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Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Electric Power
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Electric Power
As the electric power system faces new pressures and opportunities, EPIC research is working to identify the mix of policies needed to accelerate the global transition to clean, reliable, affordable...
Renewable Energy
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Renewable Energy
Lower technology costs and supportive public policies are driving an increase in renewable energy in markets around the world. EPIC research is assessing the costs, benefits, and efficiency of policies...