Frugal innovation approaches to sustainable domestic energy: two cases of solar water heating from Brazil
by Hans-Christian Busch; Tobias Dauth; Luise Fischer; Marcelo Souza
International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development (IJTLID), Vol. 10, No. 3/4, 2018

Abstract: This paper aims to shed light on sustainability oriented frugal innovation. We explore how frugal approaches to innovation can be used as affordable and environmentally sustainable alternatives to established water heater systems. Using a descriptive case study approach, two examples of frugal innovators in Brazil are being depicted. We develop a better understanding how frugal approaches to solving similar environmental problems vary between different organisational forms. Moreover, we investigate in which situations a frugal approach to sustainable innovation appears to be suitable. Our findings indicate that distinct approaches to frugal innovation can be pursued developing environmentally sustainable and affordable technology. Comparing a grassroots non-profit organisation to a for-profit corporation, we identify different degrees of relational importance of frugality in environmental sustainability. We show that frugal approaches represent viable alternatives in achieving circular products and that these approaches can contribute to a socially inclusive form of environmentally friendly domestic energy use.

Online publication date: Wed, 01-Aug-2018

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development (IJTLID):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email