Sustainable energy for whom?

How can we move from “sustainable energy for some” towards “sustainable energy for all”, whilst promoting economic development in some of the world’s poorest nations? In a new blogpost for Politics@Warwick the STEPS Centre’s David Ockwell and Rob Byrne reveal new research that shows capacity building has been more influential than market mechanisms in the Solar Home Systems sector in Kenya.

“There’s a lot of talk about low carbon energy technologies providing clean energy access for poor people in low-income countries. In fact, these technologies could also do a lot to drive new economic opportunities and create sustainable capacity in new, lower carbon technological fields,” they write.

“But this is unlikely to be achieved unless current policy is fundamentally reframed. Our research shows that capacity building solutions are outperforming policies based on market mechanisms. To make use of this knowledge and shift climate change policies onto a path with real impact, we need to rethink the way that we promote sustainable energy investments.”

The research was conducted for the STEPS Centre affliate project Pro-poor low carbon development with partners the African Technolgy Policy Studies Network (ATPS) in Kenya. You can get a more in-depth picture from the project’s new Working Paper: Sustainable energy for whom? Governing pro-poor, low carbon pathways to development: Lessons from solar PV in Kenya.

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