The SWOT Model's Utility in Evaluating Energy Technology: Illustrative Application of a Modified Version to Assess the Sawdust Cookstove's Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Biomass cookstove, Cooking devices, Cookstove, Improved cookstoves, Renewable energy, Sawdust cookstove, Sub-Saharan Africa, Sustainable development, SWOT

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This paper tackles two main tasks. First, it reviews the use of the Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) model in the energy sector. The review sheds light on the utility of the SWOT model in this sector. It reveals that the model, which is borrowed from the business world, has been employed only rarely and with little modification in the energy sector. Second, it develops and proposes a modified version of the model for use in assessing energy technologies in developing regions. The modified version contains two main variants, the one, qualitative and the other, quantitative. The qualitative variant is successfully employed here for illustrative purposes, to assess the sustainability of the sawdust cookstove as a cooking device in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The quantitative variant requires data that can be elicited through questionnaires and/or interview schedules administered to energy sector stakeholders, policymakers and/or energy experts. Both variants have potential use for technology developers, researchers and policymakers in the energy policy field in SSA in particular and developing regions in general.

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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, v. 69, p. 313-323