As trailed in my previous blog on what COMPASS says about climate change impacts on our partners, we are today launching a paper outlining an approach to designing energy delivery models that work for people living in poverty.
See also today’s The Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog.
This paper is the first output of an ongoing collaboration between IIED and CAFOD that aims to understand better how energy services can be designed to work for people living in poverty so as to maximise their development benefits and ensure they operate sustainably over the long term.
To reiterate, the big picture here is that 1.3 billion people still have no electricity and 2.7 billion cook over open fires – including many of the communities CAFOD works with. Increasing access to modern, safe, sustainable and affordable energy is a hot topic in the post-MDGs debate. This is a potential “win-win” for poor people and tree huggers, since to reach universal access, 55% of new electricity must come from decentralized sources – 90% of them renewable.
The CAFOD and IIED approach starts from the insight that people’s energy needs must be understood holistically, in relation to their broader development needs, and services must be tailored to their specific local context. It aims, firstly, build a holistic understanding of people’s energy needs and wants and the interests of other stakeholders and then to analyse the local context in which a service will operate. Socio-cultural factors, as well as the formal enabling environment, are a crucial to the success of any ‘energy delivery model’.