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An approach to designing energy delivery models that work for people living in poverty

Access to modern, safe, affordable and sustainable energy is increasingly recognised as crucial for development. Designing the delivery of energy services that can meet the needs and wants of end-users, in particular those of men and women living in poverty, is a complex task that requires a range of skills (technical, managerial and financial) and cooperation between multiple stakeholders. Equally, successful scaling requires adapting delivery models to different local contexts rather than simple replication.

This joint publication from IIED and CAFOD outlines an approach to designing sustainable energy services for people living in poverty. It provides guidelines for participatory analysis to identify the potential actors in the energy supply chain, using innovative visualisation tools to build a ‘delivery model’ that has a greater chance of being socially, financially and environmentally sustainable. A crucial starting point is to understand the context for intervention: this includes the local socio-cultural context, the enabling environment and the supporting services that will influence its viability. It also involves understanding in depth what the demands are for an energy service, and the value it can deliver with respect to broader needs and wants of the end-users.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 16551IIED
  • Published: Sep 2013 - IIED
  • Theme: Energy
  • ISBN: 978-1-84369-948-4
  • Languages: English, Español

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Bellanca, R. Garside, B. 2013. An approach to designing energy delivery models that work for people living in poverty. 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