How Can the Design of a Business Model Contribute to Energy Technology Leapfrogging and Increase Energy Access in Rural Areas of Zambia

Ileana Vaxevani

Student thesis: Master thesis


Leapfrogging of energy technologies has long be discussed in the developing world as a way of increasing energy access and at the same time bypassing the path, developed countries followed in energy development. To date energy technology leapfrogging has only been investigated mostly from the side of the technology and there is lack of understanding in the academic literature, on the business opportunities. The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate the factors and actors under which the business model that promotes energy technology leapfrogging and energy access in rural areas of Zambia, can be designed with a help of a qualitative and in some parts quantitative approach and a theoretical synthesis comprising the finance, technical capabilities and actors needed. The business model proposed for spreading energy technology leapfrogging and energy access is the anchor customer business model. The idea is that the anchor customer has stable energy needs and by securing a stable energy demand thus paying a regular fee in the independent power provider, of the clean and energy efficient microgrid, it can secure its viability during the first years. The anchor customer will be a milk collection center which promises, on the same time, to solve the current inefficiency of the dairy industry. Focus will be put in the anchor customer, the milk collection center, the independent power provider of the microgrid, and the financial, technical capabilities and actors that need to be involved. The analysis finds out that the finance for the design of the milk collection center is more secured compared to the IPP and the technical capabilities can be addressed for both entities by capacity building trainings from Zambian organizations. The number of actors involved, for the design of the milk collection center are fewer, since it has already been installed by dairy companies, compared to the microgrid, as the technology proposed is not widely spread in the rural areas at the time being. The installation of this business model can impact the society and economy of the area. Due to the exploratory nature of my research and the lack of prior academic literature, future research is necessary to validate these findings and to further investigate the design of the business model from a project management approach and also asses its environmental impact from a life cycle point of view

EducationsMSc in Supply Chain Management , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages96
SupervisorsMaria J. Figueroa