The LCEDN is partnering with the applied research programme on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) led by Oxford Policy Management and funded by UK Department for International Development to catalyse new research collaborations on community energy resilience in low-income countries. The project is supported by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Whole Systems Networking Fund funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Many low-income countries are vulnerable to natural hazards, long-term processes of ecological degradation, and global climate change. These factors threaten progress towards economic development enabled by energy access. Despite this, researchers have until recently failed to address resilience in the design and development of sustainable energy systems. Research on energy access in low-income countries has also tended to be divided between on-grid, mini-grid, and stand-alone solutions. However, communities often utilise different combinations of systems in a strategic way. This project is designed to open up a dialogue around these issues by exploring the potential of a whole systems energy research approach to address questions of community resilience.
The project will consist of three workshops to engage with researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in the UK, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa from June to November 2018. Also watch out for our other outputs, which will include a webinar, working paper and briefing paper.
The project was launched at the 2018 LCEDN annual conference in Loughborough with a session on ‘Resilience Concepts for Energy’. Presentations included community energy resilience, adaptation for buildings, and financial aspects of community energy resilience, with examples from Nepal, China, UK and Malawi. A summary of the session and an introduction to the project is available here (part of the EEG Energy Insight series).