The Energy Access and Development Program

The Energy Access and Development Program is a start-up NGO. We attempt to have a share in applied (energy) poverty eradication on an innovative basis: Based in Berlin, Germany, EADP links development cooperation with engineering, academic and scientific research, network facilitation, consulting, and advisory. Our focus is the Middle East with a special emphasis on Yemen and Lebanon. EADP started in 2015 as the Energy and Development Project as part of Berlin Institute of Technology and is run as an independent non-profit organisation since late 2016.

Background & Targets

Empirical studies reveal energy poverty as a stylised determinant of poverty in general. Especially rural areas in the Global South are often hardly reached by national infrastructure grids and modern technologies, hampering electrification, modern cooking, and human wellbeing. This leads to a cycle in which energy as a missing production factor for promoting development and poverty mutually cause each other. The importance of achieving universal energy access has been finally acknowledged by the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 7 demands to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. Energy poverty haunts low-income areas in the Global South in various ways and with devastating consequences. The lack of (stable) electricity is not only an obstacle to economic activity and, hence, development, but it has a direct effect on human well-being as household appliances, communication, and light require electric power. Substitutes for electricity and natural gas are often found in traditional biomass and fossil fuel liquids, e.g. kerosene, wood, or dung. Their long-term use, especially for cooking without modern stoves, bears intense dangers to residents’ health, disproportionally high targeting women and children. Self-evidently, the large use of fossil fuels leads to environmental pollution. Hence, energy access is a central variable in enhancing human wellbeing and overcoming barriers to growth. Indoor lighting can increase education has it provides the opportunity to study, and economic and social development are supported as productivity increases and new business opportunities are created.

Aims and Work

EADP aims to ease the issue by developing, planning, and implementing integrated concepts for energy supply (e.g. electricity generation and distribution, water heating, energy for cooking) on a case basis. This is complemented by efforts in research, publications, and outreach. Providing an overview, EADP provides:

• Integrated design and implementation of technical solutions • Interdisciplinary research • Consultancy & advisory • Publication and dissemination of information material and resources • Teaching & training • Networking & awareness rising

Technical work is based on a participatory approach. Bottom-up is not only a buzzword but an integral concept: Surveys and continuous contact to the local population ensure that beneficiaries receive the services they require and consider themselves an active part of the project. Also, this promotes social development and the concept of citizens having responsibility for society and infrastructure. Corresponding to this, EADP supports sustainable, self-financing, and comprehensive solutions. Beyond that, we bridge between local population, local authorities, national governments, private companies, international organisations, and the academic sector, as meaningful impact can only be created by collaboration and cooperation between all relevant stakeholders.

The academic sector holds a special role for EADP, as we work closely with research institutes and universities. In these regards, our most direct partner the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), where we teach an integrated course (lecture series and project) based on our 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 our work to provides a chance for young scientist and engineers to apply their knowledge and design pioneering solutions, while our work profits from the fresh and new input. In some projects, we directly support universities in providing training for students and practitioners in rural electrification.

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