The USES network is an EPSRC and DFID-funded network designed to bring together the 13 projects funded under the Understanding Sustainable Energy Solutions (USES) research programme, which is working in collaboration with a range of partners in developing countries. The USES programme is a major UK government research initiative aimed at understanding sustainable energy solutions to poverty-related and low carbon issues in the global south.

The USES programme is a collaboration between the UK Research Councils’ Energy Programme ( – which is run through the EPSRC (, the Department for International Development (DFID – and the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The programme is intended to increase clean energy access, resilience and wealth creation in developing countries (particularly for the urban and rural poor), through high quality research that improves the understanding and evidence-base of opportunities and challenges associated with clean energy for development. This research is focused on five themes – energy systems and decentralized use; solar; bioenergy; urban and transport; and energy efficiency

Each of the projects funded under the USES programme is intended to contribute to a longer term goal of increased clean energy access, resilience and wealth creation for low-income households and communities in developing countries. They take very different approaches to doing this, but all have the broad general aim of delivering an outcome of high quality research to improve understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with scaling up clean energy for development.

The overall goal of the programme is that it will lead to:

  • Improved understanding of clean energy options and opportunities for developing countries.
  • Improved understanding of the social, market and political economy aspects of scaling sustainable energy access for poor people.
  • Strengthened developing country research capacity on clean energy.
  • Improved access to practical and policy-relevant knowledge on the challenges and opportunities for sustainable energy solutions in developing countries.

This section of the LCEDN website provides a one-stop shop for information about the projects funded through this programme and the activities of the network.

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