Knowledge is power: towards Low Carbon Energy in Africa

The G7 have promised to phase out fossil fuel emissions by the end of the century. Though a long-term target, it’s the first time a proper date has been set for a decarbonised economy for this group of industrialised nations. It will affect the tone of the negotiations at the UN climate talks in Paris…

Is it time to refocus the Water-Energy-Food nexus?

The water-energy-food nexus is the ‘new kid on the block’ in development thinking since 2008, and is a key concept within the UN post-2015 development agenda. The current framing of the nexus, however, needs to refocus onto the big issues of inequality and local access rights to resources, according to a new Special Issue of…

Join us for What Works at the Nexus?

Join us at the first Nexus Network conference: What works at the nexus? New connections in food, energy, water and environment on Thursday 27 November from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm at the Coin Street Conference Centre in London. This is an opportunity for network members to meet, hear high-profile keynote speakers, discuss nexus challenges from a variety…

Sustainable Development Goals: lessons from the ‘nexus’

As part of our engagement with the ‘nexus’ of food, water, energy and the environment, STEPS members will be participating in an Overseas Development Institute event on 11 September 2014. The event Tackling trade-offs in the food-water-energy nexus: lessons for the SDGs features contributions former STEPS Director Melissa Leach and includes a contribution from our…

Building low carbon, high growth futures in Africa

An article in New Scientist magazine pubished today sets out one of the most hotly-contestated questions about increasing energy access in the global south: can low carbon techology deliver meaningful opportunities for economic growth? Author Fred Pearce, who sits on the STEPS Centre’s Advisory Committee, in unconvinced that those on either side of the low carbon argument have made a strong enough…

Community-based Micro Grids: Experiences in Rural Kenya

By Lorenz Gollwitzer I am standing in Olosho-Oibor, a small village three-hours from Nairobi, at the bottom of the Ngong Hills (famous as the place where Denys Finch Hatton crashed his plane and died in Karen Blixen’s autobiography Out of Africa). Beeping in my pocket, my smartphone has just received an email, yet the nearest connection to the national grid…

Ghana,’Brazil of Africa’: Keeping lights on for the World Cup

By Sandra Pointel in Accra Over recent years, concerns to “keep the lights on” have featured high on energy policy agendas and in media headlines, especially in the developed world. Competing concerns to ensure energy security – including geopolitical turbulence associated with oil and gas supply, potential terrorist attacks and attempts to mitigate climate change and transition…

The nexus – politics, practice and disciplinary dilemmas

STEPS researchers have written a series of blogposts for the Guardian and the Nexus Platform website addressing the challenges of the water-food-energy-environment ‘nexus’. Andy Stirling addresses the challenges of working across disciplines, Jeremy Allouche looks at nexus politics while James Wilsdon and Rose Cairns discuss joining research, policy and practice. The Guardian Nexus blogpost series launches the Nexus Network,…

Latin American STEPS Centre Hub starts with debate series on sustainability

by Valeria Arza, Mariano Fressoli, Anabel Marin and Patrick van Zwanenberg, STEPS Centre Latin American hub A new series of Debates on Sustainability and Development in Latin America has kicked off in Argentina with a discussion on the social utility of publicly funded research for transgenic crops. Organised by two of the STEPS Centre’s partner…

Guest blogpost: Andrew Barnett on low carbon development trade offs

Andrew Barnett, Director of The Policy Practice,  inspired by the discussion at The Royal Society on Monday 31 March 2014 to discuss the policy implications of research on low carbon development and sustainable energy access in low-income countries, writes for the STEPS Centre blog. I very much enjoyed meeting the teams from Science and Technology Policy…