The Energy Access and Development Program is a startup NGO. We attempt to have a share in applied poverty eradication on an innovative basis: Based in Berlin, Germany, EADP links academic and scientific research with applied development work by developing and implementing integrated proposals for energy supply in regions and villages affected from energy poverty. Our core region is the Middle East with a special emphasis on Yemen and Lebanon.

Background & Targets

Empirical studies reveal energy poverty as a stylised determinant of poverty in general. Especially rural areas in LDCs are often not or only partially connected to the national grids. This leads to a cycle in which energy as a missing production factor for promoting development and poverty mutually cause each other. Especially education rates have shown to be increasing if students have light for studying. Additionally, missing electricity supply is not only preventing economic growth and development but also bears dangers for health and the environment: Substitutes for electricity are often found in traditional biomasses and fossil fuel liquids, e.g. kerosene, wood, or dung. The long-term use of such primary energy sources for cooking and the provision of light within houses bears intense dangers to the residents’ health. Self-evidently, the use of fossil fuels leads furthermore to environmental pollution. In contrast to that, LDCs are often endowed with renewable resources, i.e. they offer optimal conditions for the use of clean and cheap energy.
EADP tries to tackle these problems in a specified region or village by developing, planning, and implementing an integrated concept for energy supply (e.g. electricity generation and distribution, water heating, energy for cooking). To achieve this, we work in close relation with local authorities and the population to design systems according to needs and possibilities in accordance with political circumstances. We perform the designing process under parallel consideration of technical, economic, geographical, political, and social restrictions. The general aim is to plan a system that is sustainable, self-financing, and comprehensive. This means, for instance, that the work could include the usage of local materials, demand-side concepts, or collective financing schemes.

Relations and Teaching

A central aspect of our innovative approach is the intermediary function we aim to take, especially regarding academics. Since multiple years, EADP is working in close collaboration with the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), and we teach an integrated course (lecture series and project) based on this work. We aim to offer students chances to explore the area of energy in development which is still suffering under a crucial brain drain. Moreover, we encourage students give crucial input into the project from their own ideas within the course or additional research. This provides a chance for young scientist and engineers to apply their knowledge and design pioneering solutions, while our project work profits from the fresh and new input. Furthermore, we closely collaborate with partners from multiple other institutions and large (engineering) companies for consulting and contracting.
Initial EADP came into being with an awarded grant by the TU Berlin’s Commission for Studies and Teaching (LSK) under the support of TU Berlin’s KUBUS at the Centre for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation (ZEWK) as part of the initiatives for innovative learning and the promotion of economically sustainable and socially beneficial projects.

Teaching is based on an interdisciplinary orientation as well as the duality of practical research and university teaching. Students from practically all fields can take the EADP as a usual elective course including a graded examination, according to their study and examination regulations. This system not only benefits the students in their professional and social competences, but it generates the atmosphere the EADP crucially builds on. The intended inhomogeneity of the group facilitates a melting pot of different perspectives and ideas that becomes refreshed by continuous knowledge transfer.