Development of innovation systems for small island states: A functional analysis of the Barbados solar water heater industry

Thomas Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
246 Downloads (Pure)


Most small island states are under economic pressure to transition from energy systems dominated by imported oil, into systems based on clean energy technologies, which are often already economically viable due to local high energy prices. Guidance on transforming energy systems is limited with few examples available to policy makers. This paper applies a technological innovation system approach to recording the development of the much-lauded Barbados solar water heating industry and applies Bergek et al.'s (2008) functional analysis approach to put forward reasons for its successful adoption. The research concludes that the Barbados solar water heater industry actually appears to be in a state of market stagnation (at around 35% penetration) and using functional analysis identifies barriers and opportunities for future growth in the local and regional solar hot water heater market, as well as proposing the key actor networks necessary for success in sustainable energy technology based innovation system for small island states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy for Sustainable Development
Early online date12 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy for Sustainable Development. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy for Sustainable Development Vol 31, (2016) DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2016.01.002


  • Innovation systems
  • Small island developing states
  • Solar water heaters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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