UCL Energy Institute


Energy and Development Group Projects

The Energy & Development Group has a number of running and historic projects both local to the UK and across the globe.

The UCL energy and development group is engaged in energy and development research across the Global South, our work ranges from supporting the development of entrepreneurship to address the challenge of delivering clean and safe thermal energy services to city scale models of energy consumption using dynamic thermal simulation. 

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Recent projects

'A natural capital reporting framework for the Brazilian Pantanal' 
This 6-month project, in partnership with the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil, aims to develop a natural capital indicator framework that will provide local decision-makers with a reporting system of environment, economic and social indicators for the Pantanal region in Brazil.

The Pantanal region of Brazil, located in the Southern part of the Amazon rainforest, is a megadiverse tropical wetland. It is also one of the most productive areas for Brazilian agribusiness, including soybean, maize, sugarcane and beef. As a result, this critical ecosystem is increasingly under threat with numerous competing industries driving land use-land change and large wildfire events (Julia Tomei and Alison Fairbass).

Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS)
Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) is an eight-year programme funded by UK Aid (FCDO).  By integrating modern energy cooking services into the planning for electricity access, quality, reliability and sustainability, MECS hopes to leverage investment in renewable energies (both grid and off-grid) to address the clean cooking challenge.  MECS is implementing a strategy focused on including the cooking needs of households into the investment and action on ‘access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy for all’.

Energy Democracy and the Politics of Energy Transition in African Countries (ENER-DEMOS)
Energy Democracy and the Politics of Energy Transition in African Countries surveys current practices associated with decentralization and local governance of energy supplies, consider established good practice and look to build routes forward with wider stakeholder communities. It will consider also the evolution of social imaginaries linked to energy transition in African countries, from national governments down to local communities.

Grounded Energy Modelling for equitable urban planning development in the global South (GEMDev)
Grounded Energy Modelling for equitable urban planning development in the global South (GEMDev) is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Global Challenges Research Fund. GEMDev is using participatory research methods to cocreate data sets with off-grid communities and inform actionable strategies for future redevelopment to ensure dignified housing and habitat for the urban poor. The research process is designed to increase communities’ capacity and skills, to amplify their voice in the planning processes that have profound impacts on their lives and to ensure that they are represented in the Urban Building Energy Models of the future.

The principal aim of this project is to develop possible transition pathways in Ethiopia to modern energy – specifically clean electricity – by incorporating behavioural issues in energy system modelling. It will address the knowledge gap on how evolving demand for electricity and demand side policies (such as efficiency improvements and price changes) affects energy system development pathways and their economics.

Climate change impacts on hydro-generation and land suitability for agriculture in Least Developed Countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region GMS
This project aims to understand the impacts of climate change uncertainty on water availability and land suitability for agriculture production in the three least developed countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, namely, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. It also identifies measures to enhance the resilience of the economy, especially of the rural agriculture communities to long-term climate change.

iNtegrated Urban Model for Built Environment Research (iNUMBER)
iNUMBER (iNtegrated Urban Model for Built Environment Research) is a four-year (2017-2021) research collaboration between India and United Kingdom to help cities reduce their energy demand and improve their electricity and water services.  Funded by the Newton-Bhabha Fund, iNUMBER is jointly supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in partnership with the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology.

Other projects

Co-designing anaerobic digestion systems for artisanal fishing communities in ColombiaNovember 2017 to March 2018Universidad Nacional de México
Towards sustainable decentralised energy networks in MyanmarNovember 2017 to March 2018WWF-Myanmar, Myanmar Engineering Society, Renewable Energy Association Myanmar
Smart Solutions for All - S34ALLMarch 2019 to March 2024BBOXX, Royal Academy of Engineering, LCEDN, University of Rwanda
Mapping synergies and trade-offs between energy and the Sustainable Development GoalsNovember 2017 
Addressing energy needs of refugees in Kenya through translational researchAugust 2018 to July 2019Practical Action, BBOXX
Large Water Projects and Conflicted Territorial Identities in sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of the Development of the Senegal RiverOctober 2018 - September 2020IFAN, Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar)