Latest IIED podcast puts the focus on energy access

News, 15 November 2019
The second episode of IIED's new ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast highlights the importance of energy access as a driver for sustainable development.

IIED's podcast series offers listeners the opportunity to hear from researchers about their work on key global challenges and how we are working to make change happen. The series of audio recordings can be listened to online or downloaded direct to your mobile phone.

Episode two looks at energy and how it can promote sustainable development for all. The recording features Ben Garside, who leads IIED's research on energy access and renewable energy, together with researchers Nipunika Perera and Kevin Johnstone.

Garside says there is also growing understanding that energy can be a powerful driver for many development goals.

IIED's energy research largely focuses on how to deliver sustainable energy access for the world’s poorest. Nearly one billion people are still without access to electricity, and nearly three billion people lack clean, safe cooking facilities.

The researchers discuss the technologies and financial mechanisms that are available for delivering energy to poor communities. IIED has recently published a major report on financing models such as aggregation which can help speed up the delivery off-grid energy to remote areas.

Aggregation – bringing together projects and companies into portfolios – can reduce transaction costs and mitigate risks, and deliver vital support services, such as business and technical training to build the capacity of communities to harness energy for economic development.

In the podcast, the researchers also discuss the social and planning contexts for energy access – including how gender roles can affect energy use. The researchers highlight the importance of off-grid and renewable energy as a resource for helping poor communities to adapt to climate change.

The IIED podcast – listen and subscribe

The ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast aims to provide informal insights into how IIED is working to create positive change.

The podcast title, ‘Make Change Happen’, refers to IIED’s new 2019-2024 strategy, which sets out IIED's response to the critical challenges of our time, from climate crisis to biodiversity loss and increasing inequality.

Episode 1, Protecting our ocean, centred on IIED’s work to protect the ocean and marine environments. It includes a focus on the international negotiations on how to secure the biodiversity of the world’s ocean, and also looks at international attempts to improve marine governance and efforts to develop an ocean-based economy that successfully balances economic gain with social and environmental concerns. 

You can subscribe to the podcast on your favourite podcast app as follows:

You can follow the panellists on Twitter: @NipunkiaCP and @LizCarlile. Follow the podcast on @IIED_Voices for all the latest updates.

Contact

Ben Garside (ben.garside@iied.org), principal researcher, Shaping Sustainable Markets research group

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