Dr. Benjamin Sovacool (Team Leader) and Research Associates Matt Kryman and Emily Laine
Recently, the Energy Security and Justice team co-authored the introductory chapter for a multi-volume book for the global academic publisher Routledge. The chapter is titled Energy, Poverty, and Development: A Global Review. The primary purpose of the introductory chapter is to provide an overview of the scope and nature of the global energy poverty situation. The chapter investigates the causes of energy poverty, the benefits of modern energy access, and the countries and regions most in need of modern energy services. It also examines the barriers facing energy access programs, and presents case studies of both successful and unsuccessful interventions. It examines energy development programs to understand best practices and lessons learned that will be vital towards eradicating energy poverty in the future.
The team also recently produced a research article on biogas systems in Kenya, consulting for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The article will likely be published in an academic journal upon completion. To give background on the project: IFAD has supported Biogas International in piloting Flexi-Biogas systems for nine farmers and one orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya. The Flexi-Biogas system is a digester that is fed with organic waste. Anaerobic digestion occurs on the inside and produces an output of methane gas. The gas can then be piped into homes and used for cooking and lighting purposes, and even generators can run off of it. The system is unique because it is a portable system, unlike the typical fixed-dome digesters that are built into the ground. Its design is more "flexible" and adapted to the needs of Kenyans.
The team's article explores the history of energy access and energy policy in Kenya, and it will examine the benefits and challenges of implementing the biogas systems. To conclude, it will consider the lessons learned for future implementation, including the potential for more widespread dissemination of biogas systems in Kenya and throughout the region.