Origins of the LCEDN
Workshops exploring energy and international development issues held in 2010 (under UKERC's Meeting Place scheme) and 2011 brought together a diverse array of academics from across the UK. These revealed the enthusiasm of the UK research community to engage with the energy for development agenda and began to build bridges between the considerable pools of expertise that exist in both the energy and development fields but had rarely been brought into conversation before. The workshops revealed the limited connections between different research communities, a lack of coherence between research and policy agendas and highlightedthe increasingly urgent developmental and environmental challenges facing the global community as well as the existence of new funding mechaisms. They suggested the need for a flexible, critical and proactive response.
In response, with initial funding from the UK's Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) was launched in January 2012 and was centred around hubs at Durham Energy Institute (DEI) and Loughborough University (on behalf of the Midlands Energy Consortium - MEC).
Since then the LCEDN has operated as a platform for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and private sector organisations to interact and cooperate on research for low-carbon development. It was originally centred on a group of five academic research centres (these are the Science and Technology Policy Research Department (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) as well as the DEI and MEC) and has evolved into a wide-ranging network of individuals and organisations working together to promote Energy for Development research in the UK and worldwide.
The LCEDN's Remit
The LCEDN aims to bring together researchers, policy-makers and practitioners from across the United Kingdom to expand research capacity around low-carbon development in developing societies.
The network provides a hub for academics, government bodies and practitioners to identify common interests, share ideas and information and address emerging opportunities.
The network aims to pinpoint UK strengths, identify where they could be deployed and highlight areas where expertise needs to be further developed.
We also actively seek to promote collaborations between UK-based academics and researchers and research institutions from developing countries.
We seek to bring together existing expertise in international development, renewable energy transitions and science and technology studies in order to enhance and support interdisciplinary research, learning and policy-formation.
We also aim to enhance collaboration between the academic community, government, international institutions, NGOs and the private sector with a view to enriching UK and international policy-making regarding energy and development.