Open source, open innovation, open collaboration: most of us access information daily based on an ‘open’ approach. Open source technology – which emerged as a radical new approach to software – benefits from a collaborative and transparent approach. It allows people to adapt and improve technology according to their needs. An open source approach can progress more rapidly thanks to the crowd-based model that encourages experimentation. Open source technology is flexible, and it is sometimes even more reliable. But how can this revolution in “openness” benefit people who need access to energy? In the case of energy access, open source technology allows people to adapt energy-related hardware, software, and data more easily to their local conditions, potentially saving both time, effort, and money in the process. The flexibility offered by open source technology means that people are not wedded to proprietary technology if they need to adapt to new conditions. Despite these benefits, obstacles to open source technology also exist.
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