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Discontinuities in the Trajectory of Solar Photovoltaic (spv) Technology Development in India

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The objective of this paper is to understand different phases of solar photovoltaic (spv) technology in India and the interplay of scientific, technological, economic, and political factors in each of the phases. There are four distinct phases. In the first-phase (1947-1970), spv technology was recognized as an important source of energy for countries like India. In the second phase (1971-1990), the oil crisis led to the formulation of new scientific and technological initiatives and programs in spv, but due to a lack of political commitment the initiatives disintegrated. In the third phase (1991-2003), several factors seemed to have undermined the development of spv sector. Currently in the fourth phase (2003 to the present), India has virtually lost the race for development of photovoltaic technology. Within the context of climate change and resource constraint, India has reformulated its strategy which has taken the form of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission Plan (jnnsm).This paper examines how jnnsm influences indigenous attempts in photovoltaic technology development. The paper shows how scientific, technological, economic and political factors have contributed to discontinuities in the development of the technology.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Christ; 2: Department of Sociology and Centre for Knowledge Culture and Innovation Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of


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