Climate change and sustainable energy production are high on the political agenda. Public debate generally focuses on how the use of fossil fuels can be reduced. However, less attention is given to the lack of energy access for people living in developing countries. Remarkably, the solution to both issues is the same: renewable energy. In its projects, Hivos aims to demonstrate that green and inclusive energy is not a pipe dream or an alternative, but simply the best choice. Our research informs our stance in the debate and reflects on our projects in the field.
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Benefits from Biofuels
Hivos’ Renewable Energy programme focuses on governments and large corporations as well as people without access to modern forms of energy. Together with our partners, we aim to develop simple, smart, clean and off-grid technologies accessible to people in remote areas, like biodigesters, biomass briquetting and solar power systems, or mini-grids running on liquid biofuels, amongst others. Hivos has published extensive evaluations of a range of projects, like the highly promising and trending Jatropha plant. Other studies concern bioslurry, a by-product from biogas produced from cattle, pig and buffalo dung (and other excrement). One of our publications concludes that bioslurry not only solves various soil fertility problems, but also gives farmers using biogas in Africa and Southeast Asia access to renewable energy services, while helping mitigate poverty and climate change. All our research and learnings can be found in this dossier.
Energy Change Lab
The Energy Change Lab, a Hivos-IIED partnership, cultivates space for innovative thinking and exploring complex ideas in the energy domain. The Lab noted that mainstream debates on energy futures tend to focus on energy sources, market regulation, security, demand, price and the environment, but have a common blind spot: the role of ordinary people in energy systems. One publication especially focuses on the role of citizens in future’s energy systems. Furthermore, the Lab has conducted research on productive uses of energy in Tanzania and on user feedback mechanisms in the energy sector, also explicitly focusing on Tanzania. The Energy Change Lab is not only a space for experimenting, outlining steps for further action and exploration, but also a source of knowledge.
For these and more insights about renewable energy, do browse through this dossier!