Sebastian Groh

Sebastian Groh
BRAC University | BU · BRAC Business School (BBS)

PhD

About

44
Publications
17,944
Reads
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461
Citations
Citations since 2017
12 Research Items
383 Citations
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Introduction
I question the traditional approach of a top-down, centralized and fossil-fuel based scheme, introducing a bottom-up concept based on decentralization and resource-efficiency, coined as swarm electrification. I am developing a sharing-based energy infrastructure, coined as swarm electrification, where individual stand-alone energy systems are linked together to form a micro-grid. I analyse what role swarm electrification might play on fighting structural handicaps such as energy poverty.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
North South University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2016 - December 2016
Independent University, Bangladesh
Position
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
July 2012 - October 2015
Technische Universität Berlin
Position
  • Researcher
Education
June 2013 - July 2013
Stanford University
Field of study
  • Entrepreneurship
March 2013 - March 2013
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Microfinance
November 2012 - November 2015
Technische Universität Berlin
Field of study
  • Economics

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Full-text available
Highlights: Survey data verifies the multi-dimensional nature of electricity access; Energy poverty metrics should be distinguished from electricity supply metrics; Composite indices can bias or hide complexity of electricity service conditions; Data indicates better tier performance of solar home systems than from grid access; Metric analysis stre...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides an introduction to the book, identifies different perspectives, and describes the different sections of the book in more detail. It places the research issues in the context of the “great socio-ecological transformation” and defines different elements of this process. The chapter also includes the main take-away messages from...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper, we discuss the stylized facts of Bangladesh’s energy sector, critically review the different policies of the government for powering up the nation in the last 50 years, identify existing controversies and finally indicate potential pathways to ensure future energy security. The novelty of the papers is twofold: First, prior literatur...
Chapter
The COVID-19 pandemic has long moved beyond a global health crisis and morphing into a social and economic crisis, which combined with climate change threats, can seriously jeopardize the advancements that have been made to date towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), globally and in particular in Bangladesh. Our collective actions toward...
Article
Full-text available
Energy access, more specifically electricity access, is one of the prerequisites to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Around one-tenth of the global population remained without access to electricity in 2019. Bangladesh has shown substantial progress in electricity access. This paper aims at reviewing the association between electricity acc...
Chapter
It is estimated that one in three off-grid households globally will use off-grid solar by 2020; however, the off-grid system still suffers from problems, the main ones being capacity limitation and ensuring energy efficiency (EE) amid operation and maintenance or user errors, a topic that in the past has often been overlooked. This study proposes a...
Chapter
Electricity produced through solar home systems (SHS) represents attractive energy supply solutions for the unelectrified population in the Global South, particularly in its remote areas. Together with the respective range of appliances, SHSs represent an unattended and untapped infrastructure. We re-define the different categories of unelectrified...
Chapter
Full-text available
Today most of the electrification grids in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are found in urban areas. However, these grids experience erratic and frequent power outages for long hours, on average 4.6 h in a day. Due to this problem, many of the African population rely on cheaper but unclean options like backup diesel/petrol generators for lighting, phone c...
Article
Full-text available
Recent efforts to measure energy poverty more comprehensively attempt to redress the shortcomings of binary metrics that remain in common use. However, significant challenges remain both with the construction of the new measurement frameworks and their application. The paper presents an analysis of recent multidimensional measurement approaches and...
Article
Full-text available
The global off-grid energy and policy landscape has undergone a profound transformation on different levels during the last decade, leading to new empirical problems and research challenges for the emerging academic community working on access to energy. In this paper, the research group Microenergy Systems outlines and discusses avenues for future...
Article
Full-text available
Set-up in 2009, the solar diesel hybrid minigrid in Enam Nahar market in Sandwip Island is the oldest running minigrid of its kind in Bangladesh. Several similar minigrids are under construction in different parts of Bangladesh and the experience from this pioneer minigrid should serve as a valuable source of information for up-coming entrepreneurs...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of the rural electrification challenge, sharing-based nanogrids represent an innovative approach for affordable and sustainable electricity. The peer-to-peer topology of these nanogrids is targeted at organic growth and thus requires real time monitoring and optimization. A data analysis tool has been developed, aiming at achieving a...
Article
Full-text available
The paper builds on earlier observations using system complexity theory to explain the characteristics of a swarm electrification approach using existing small, distributed renewable energy generation infrastructure integrated into a grid. The concept is based on swarm intelligence where information and electricity flow between neighbors to achieve...
Article
Full-text available
http://www.dhakatribune.com/climate-change/2016/08/13/creating-solar-villages-bangladesh/
Article
Full-text available
Lomborg (2016) presents data on costs and benefits of bringing electricity to more Bangladeshis. The author claims that diesel is five times cheaper than solar, leading to the fact that instead of his presumed number of three million rural households reached by solar home systems, it could have been 16 million through diesel given a smarter policy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the context of the rural electrification challenge, sharing-based nanogrids represent an innovative approach for affordable and sustainable electricity. The peer-to-peer topology of these nanogrids is targeted at organic growth and thus requires real time monitoring and optimization. A data analysis tool has been developed, aiming at achieving a...
Conference Paper
In the context of sustainable energy infrastructure development and the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives technical innovations and productivity up, this paper investigates an innovative solution towards decentralization – Microenergy Exchange Currency (MEX). Renewable energy is a decentralized available resource...
Article
Full-text available
When investigating the drivers and goals of both financial and energy inclusion, it becomes apparent that the two are mutually reinforcing concepts, which bear a high synergy potential. Nonetheless, screening for successfully scaled-up projects based on a combination of energy access and microfinance schemes provides very limited results which rema...
Conference Paper
Measuring energy access through binary indicators is insufficient, and often, even misleading. In this work, the SE4ALL global tracking framework, and the recently introduced ESMAP multi-tier approach, is critically discussed analyzing questionnaire based primary data from rural Bangladesh. The performance of different energy interventions is evalu...
Chapter
This paper conceptualizes the link between value chain theory and productive use (PU) focused energy projects based on microfinance mechanisms. Its main argument is that all PU of energy projects focusing on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) development can be interpreted as value chain upgrading attempts. It is argued that successful upg...
Book
This volume centers on the idea that innovative approaches for energy access can work with previously underutilized or unrecognized resources. Such untapped resources may be seen in the discovering of synergies in areas such as pre-existing service infrastructures, supply and value chain management, natural resource availability, financing schemes,...
Chapter
Full-text available
The study investigates a bottom-up concept for microgrids. A financial analysis is performed through a business model approach to test for viability when replacing a researched energy expenditure baseline in Bangladesh. A case study of Bangladesh illustrates the potential for building on the existing infrastructure base of solar home systems. Oppor...
Chapter
Bangladesh is experiencing the most successful solar home system based rural electrification program in the world. Yet the present scheme has revealed several shortcomings including the lack of a clear link to productive commercial activities as well as of a deeper energy inclusion. With sparsely distributed loads and limited energy demand, grid ex...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
More than a billion people worldwide still do not have access to basic modern energy services such as electric lighting in their homes. Most of these people live in remote rural areas, which makes extension of national electric grids to meet their needs prohibitively expensive. Several solutions involving solar photovoltaic electricity generation,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bringing off-grid areas under grid quality electricity is one of the main challenges of the 21st Century. Renewable energy especially solar PV based rural electrification plays a vital role in the context of energy access challenge in the Global South. Among the available technologies, solardiesel hybrid decentralized grid systems are proven to be...
Book
The volume presents innovative approaches to improving energy access in underprivileged communities. A core theme is the use of previously underutilized or unrecognized resources that can be found through synergies in supply and value innovation, novel financing methods, and the use of leapfrog technologies. The contributors illustrate how decentra...
Chapter
Full-text available
The paper investigates the process of electrification and power systems from a systems complexity angle. It becomes evident that contemporary approaches are either not suitable for actors in the overall system or fail to provide the needed services in the long term to a large part, undermining its sustainability. Common solar home system approaches...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Experts and industry professionals alike recognize the unprecedented success of the solar home system (SHS) program in Bangladesh. With close to 3 Million SHS installed, this is more than the rest of the world combined. Yet, for the program to maintain its momentum, and further market penetration to be achieved, the SHS program is at a point where...
Article
Full-text available
What's moving the off-grid world? A status quo analysis. At the beginning of the 21 st century, the global energy landscape is changing profoundly. Rapidly improving technologies for decentralized electricity generation are challenging the centralized topology and markets of the energy sectors– and not only in the Global North. They also provide ne...
Conference Paper
This paper outlines a bottom-up concept for microgrids. A case study for Bangladesh illustrates the potential for building on the existing infrastructure of solar home systems and underlines the strength of the approach: it aims at economic and infrastructure development created from the communities themselves. Individual stand-alone energy systems...
Conference Paper
As distributed renewable energy (DRE) systems expand rapidly as a means of electrification for the off-grid population, the debate over the relative merits of AC- versus DC-based systems has intensified. Given that most of the DRE generators as well as batteries deliver DC power and that the majority of appliances being used in rural areas (can) ru...
Chapter
In the past, fuel-based economies have led the way in economic growth, resulting in emissions that are now understood to cause climate change, with major impacts on developing countries. It has become clear that effective climate change mitigation and adaptation not only require restrictions on energy consumption in the developed world, but also a...
Article
This paper empirically assesses energy poverty from an end-user perspective. The concept of an energy poverty penalty is developed arguing that people that are deprived of a certain level of energy service quality (e.g. lack access to the grid) spend more money on energy relative to their total income than people who enjoy better energy service qua...
Article
Full-text available
Exploring energy SME Financing in Emerging and Developing Countries · Sustainable Business Institute (SBI) 6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND KEY RECOMMENDATIONS Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) distribute solar photovoltaic-based energy solutions to low-income populations in developing and emerging countries. Like many SMEs, these “energy SMEs” fa...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Any reference to theory and companies that offer services which have proven to be effective?

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
ME SOLshare Ltd. (SOLshare) is a spin-off of the German consultancy company MicroEnergy International GmbH and set up as a Bangladeshi company. SOLshare was created to offer off-grid communities a platform which enables the interconnection of households with and without solar home systems (SHS) to a smart direct current (DC) grid. The designed platform helps these communities to set up their own grid-infrastructure and alleviate themselves out of energy poverty. The incorporated feed-in structure makes it a micro-scale energy transition. www.me-solshare.com