Energy in Developing Countries
The provision of sufficient, sustainable, reliable and affordable modern energy services is a priority for countries across the world. ICEPT’s Energy in Developing Countries theme addresses a wide range of the particular difficulties faced by developing and emerging economies, combining technical, environmental and social dimensions. Research topics range from energy access for the urban and rural poor, to market and regulatory reform, interactions with agricultural and forestry systems, biomass supply chains, innovation systems, and strategies for climate change mitigation and adaption.
At the national and regional levels ICEPT has special interests in sustainable livelihoods, off-grid solutions for remote areas, integrated food-fuel bioenergy systems and land-use dynamics. Our interdisciplinary group employs and develops approaches for areas of research such as technoeconomic analysis, energy and climate assessment modelling, decision-support systems, life cycle assessment, environmental management and impact assessment, and sustainability assessment. Extensive work has been conducted in partnership with government bodies, universities and implementing agencies in Latin America and Africa, with some in the Middle East, South Asia and China.
People and publications
Honorary and visiting appointments
Projects and publications
ICEPT is active in international initiatives to address global energy and environmental challenges. Dr Jeremy Woods sits on the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) and the Royal Society’s DfID Africa Capacity Building Initiative Assessment Panel. Dr Rocio Diaz-Chavez participates in expert groups for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Global Bioenergy Partnership, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials and the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO).
Other partners for whom we have researched energy issues in developing countries include the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), UK Department for International Development (DfID), UK International Climate Fund, World Resources Institute, EIT Climate-KIC, Shell, Ernst and Young, FAPESP, CLIMACT, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
COP21 Climate Change Calculator (2015)
Together with the Financial Times, Climate-KIC and the Indian Institute of Science, ICEPT developed the COP21 Climate Change Calculator, an interactive online tool to explore the impacts of national greenhouse gas reduction efforts on global temperatures over 2013-2100. This project was funded by the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and Environment.
The Global Calculator (2013-2015)
ICEPT led the development of land, food, bioenergy and greenhouse gas removal for The Global Calculator, a free, interactive and open-source model of the world's energy, land and food systems. The Global Calculator allows users to explore the options for reducing global emissions to 2050, and to see the climate consequences of these choices to 2100. It was developed by an international team with funding from the UK Government’s International Climate Fund and EIT Climate-KIC.
Bioenergy in developing countries (ongoing)
ICEPT has longstanding research activities investigating the opportunities, barriers and impacts of bioenergy deployment in developing countries, with a particular focus on Latin America and Africa. Recent publications include:
- Bioenergy in Mexico: Status and perspective (2015)
- Bioenergy and African transformation (2015)
- The potential of CAM crops as a globally significant bioenergy resource: moving from ‘fuel or food’ to ‘fuel and more food' (2015)
- Land and Bioenergy in Bioenergy & Sustainability: Bridging the Gaps (2015)
- The Biomass Assessment Handbook: Bioenergy for a Sustainable Development (2015)
- Economic and GHG emissions analyses for sugarcane ethanol in Brazil: Looking forward (2014)
- Innovation subject to sustainability: the European policy on biofuels and its effects on innovation in the Brazilian bioethanol industry (2012)
- Agro-ecological Zoning and Biofuels: the Brazilian experience and the potential application in Africa (2012)
- Implementation, strategies and policy options for sugar cane resources and bioenergy and markets in Africa in Bioenergy for sustainable development and international competitiveness: the role of sugar cane in Africa (2012)
- A global conversation about energy from biomass: the continental conventions of the global sustainable bioenergy project (2011)
- A new hope for Africa (2011)
- Global developments in the competition for land from biofuels (2011)
- An assessment of the potential of drylands in eight sub-Saharan African countries to produce bioenergy feedstocks (2011)
Renewable Energy for Sustainable Livelihoods (RESURL) (ongoing)
Focussing on Latin America, ICEPT developed a methodology for selecting energy technologies to improve rural livelihoods and contributed to a UNEP study of enabling frameworks for renewable technologies.
UK-UAE IRENA Low Carbon Policy Collaboration (2010-2013)
Working in collaboration with IRENA and funded by DECC, ICEPT delivered projects investigating the socioeconomic impacts of large-scale wind and solar, policy evaluation metrics, innovation frameworks for Latin American biofuels, institutional barriers to rural electrification in Senegal and renewable energy toolkits.