The Global South Powered By the Sun
Regardless of the manifold reasons why the Global South has not embraced solar energy as a major form of energy, sunlight offers unique possibilities for alternative political economy of energy. The ubiquitousness of sunlight allows for a genuinely decentralized energy production in technical terms. Harnessing the solar resource through millions of households would radically increase the economic autonomy and hence political power of these masses. This promise of democratization is desperately needed in various southern countries. Yet, an alternative political economy of energy is not an easy feat in technological or organizational terms and is likely to face resistance by the hegemony of the Global North and the dominant energy forms through collusive governments. Therefore the emergence of a solar energy in the Global South is likely to require massive mobilizations and social struggles. This paper studies possible sociopolitical pathways for solar futures in the Global South.