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Equity and the energy trilemma: delivering sustainable energy access in low income communities

The issue of energy access for the poor is gaining momentum globally. This collection of papers by early-career researchers draws on in-depth field research in Latin America, Asia and Africa to explore the challenges of delivering access to modern energy services. The chapters document the ongoing inequities of energy landscapes across a range of geographies, scales and political economic contexts. The authors draw attention to the need to take local people's needs and livelihood aspirations into account in efforts to address the ‘energy trilemma’. Highlighting the complexity and multiple dimensions of energy equity, the authors demonstrate the difficulties of disentangling energy poverty from the two other elements of the trilemma – climate change and energy security.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 16046IIED
  • Published: Jun 2015 - IIED
  • Theme: Energy
  • ISBN: 978-1-78431-215-2
  • Language: English

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Tomei J., Gent D. (eds) (2015) Equity and the energy trilemma: delivering sustainable energy access in low income communities. IIED, London.

Project information

One in five people around the world – 1.3 billion people – lack electricity to light their homes or run their businesses, while wealthy countries consume vast amounts of electricity every day. IIED’s energy team works to promote access to sustainable energy for the poorest communities and a more equitable consumption of energy resources. Energy access is an area of great inequity. Access to sustainable modern energy services underpins health, education and livelihoods and increases resilience to climate change – yet millions of people have no access to electricity and use dangerous and unhealthy fuels for lighting and cooking.

More at www.iied.org:
Improving people’s access to sustainable energy