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Development & Mitigation Forum





The energy, poverty and development research group

Addressing the challenges in fulfilling the community benefit requirements in the RE IPPPP A report back on the consultative workshop held in March 2013


Access to sustainable and modern energy services is an essential element of development and underlies the achievement of many other development goals such as education and health. The Energy, poverty and development group at the ERC undertakes exciting and diverse research around the themes of energy and poverty. The group promotes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring energy poverty, which itself is a cross-cutting topic that covers many different research areas including politics and development, science and technology, health and environmental sciences.

This group conducts research to support and inform policy as well as identify good practice approaches to energy access interventions. In particular they undertake targeted research investigating energy needs and consumption patterns of low-income households; as well as assessing energy supply programmes to better understand successful approaches and the potential for replicability and scalability.

The EPD group is an affiliate of the UNEP-facilitated Global Network for Sustainable Energy for Development and has a strong international network of research centres in other countries with whom collaborative and comparative studies are undertaken. The team also collaborates with other groups at the ERC, for example in the area of climate change mitigation and poverty.

The current areas of interest for the group include:

  • Access to modern and sustainable energy for the poor
  • Development of a household energy policy for South Africa
  • Access to low-carbon and renewable energy technologies
  • Community development potential of South Africa’s renewables procurement programme
  • The water-energy nexus in the context of climate change.


Current projects

Construction waste wood in the informal catering economy

Research project within the Technology Deployment for Sustainable Development Project (Township Caterers Project)

Holle Linnea Wlokas and Anya Boyd

2011 - ongoing


Socio-economic development opportunities in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

Louise Tait and Holle Linnea Wlokas

2011 - ongoing


Poverty and inequality work in MAPS programme

Holle Linnea Wlokas

2011- ongoing


Sustainable development and mitigation of GHG emissions

E2C2 and  Holle Linnea Wlokas

2012 - ongoing


The current and future role of paraffin as a low-income household fuel in South Africa

Louise Tait

Paraffin Safety Association of South Africa

2012 - ongoing


The Rising Powers, Clean Development and the Low Carbon Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa

Gisela Prasad

A collaborative project with the University of Durham, University of Sussex and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2012-2015)

2012 - ongoing