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UCL Energy and Development Group

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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. Click here for an interative version of the map

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Live Projects

A natural capital reporting framework for the Brazilian Pantanal

A river lined with trees
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).

 

MECS

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Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) is a five-year programme funded by UK Aid (DFID).  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’.   (Yacob Mulugetta, Meron Tesfamichael, Long Seng To, Iwona Bisaga, Mairi Black)

ENER-DEMOS

Energy Democracy and the Politics of Energy Transition in African Countries will survey 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. How can policy-makers in the energy sector integrate RETs in their way of thinking? Do they perceive differences with conventional energy technologies - not just technical differences but also differences in terms of social implications, and do they understand the implications for local governance through formal and informal structures, and any existing political decentralization initiatives? How might perspectives best be changed to enable both RET deployment and enhanced energy access? Are grass roots organisations capable of proposing, developing, operating and maintaining an alternative vision? Do they perceive RETs as having the potential to empower local communities, or as 'second-hand electricity'? What are the needs of communities not just in terms of energy, but also in terms of the role they can take in meeting those needs and in working with providers to enable access which meets those needs most effectively? What financing models would best enable this? What other elements of regulation can help to enable all of this? What is required to happen amongst governance organisations to enable a shift from the centralised to a decentralised model? (Xavier Lemaire and Femi Eludoyin)

GEMDev

Shoes hanging from powerlines in front of a decaying buildings
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 co-create the 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.  (Julia Tomei, Pamela Fennell, Harsh Jatkar)

 

PATHWAYS 

pathways team
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. (Gabrial Anandarajah, Femi Eludoyin,  Julia Tomei, Oliver Broad,  Ben Milligan, Yacob Mulugetta )

GMS 

This project ai

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ms 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.

iNumber 

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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. (Katy Janda and Pamela Fennell)

Past Projects

TitleDatesPartners
PATHWAYSDecember 2018

KTH-Sweden, EPSI-Ethiopia, AAiT-Ethiopia

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
Energy and the SDG’s  
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)