Energy access

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Provision of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa is often affected by outages leading to increased use of backup diesel generators. In this study, the authors estimate the air emissions, consumer costs and fossil energy consumption resulting from the use of such generators.

    • DeVynne Farquharson
    • , Paulina Jaramillo
    •  & Constantine Samaras
  • Research |

    Use of wood and crop residue for cooking and heating in rural China is a significant source of carbon emissions and air pollution. Using a survey of more than 34,000 households, researchers show that between 1992 and 2012 usage of these fuels decreased by much more than previous estimates, due primarily to rising incomes.

    • S. Tao
    • , M. Y. Ru
    • , W. Du
    • , X. Zhu
    • , Q. R. Zhong
    • , B. G. Li
    • , G. F. Shen
    • , X. L. Pan
    • , W. J. Meng
    • , Y. L. Chen
    • , H. Z. Shen
    • , N. Lin
    • , S. Su
    • , S. J. Zhuo
    • , T. B. Huang
    • , Y. Xu
    • , X. Yun
    • , J. F. Liu
    • , X. L. Wang
    • , W. X. Liu
    • , H. F. Cheng
    •  & D. Q. Zhu
    Nature Energy 3, 567-573
  • Reviews |

    The UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development has 17 goals with 169 targets for action across a range of issues, with access to sustainable energy for all being Goal 7. This Perspective analyses interlinkages between energy systems, Goal 7 and the other goals at the target level, identifying synergies and trade-offs between them.

    • Francesco Fuso Nerini
    • , Julia Tomei
    • , Long Seng To
    • , Iwona Bisaga
    • , Priti Parikh
    • , Mairi Black
    • , Aiduan Borrion
    • , Catalina Spataru
    • , Vanesa Castán Broto
    • , Gabrial Anandarajah
    • , Ben Milligan
    •  & Yacob Mulugetta
    Nature Energy 3, 10-15
  • Reviews |

    Urban households in the global south face unique energy access challenges. This Perspective outlines a research agenda based on understanding the needs of urban energy users to promote inclusive urban energy transitions.

    • Vanesa Castán Broto
    • , Lucy Stevens
    • , Emmanuel Ackom
    • , Julia Tomei
    • , Priti Parikh
    • , Iwona Bisaga
    • , Long Seng To
    • , Joshua Kirshner
    •  & Yacob Mulugetta
    Nature Energy 2, 776-779
  • Research |

    Electricity is a fundamental aspect of socio-economic development. Urpelainen et al. survey 8,568 households in rural India and find that the average hours of available electricity is an important factor in household satisfaction with supply, whereas reliability and voltage stability are less important.

    • Michaël Aklin
    • , Chao-yo Cheng
    • , Johannes Urpelainen
    • , Karthik Ganesan
    •  & Abhishek Jain
    Nature Energy 1, 16170
  • Research |

    Strategies to improve energy access in developing countries are urgently needed. Szabó et al. propose an approach to achieve wider access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa that depends on existing under-utilized energy infrastructure such as dams, non-hybridized gensets and biomass cofiring.

    • Sándor Szabó
    • , Magda Moner-Girona
    • , Ioannis Kougias
    • , Rob Bailis
    •  & Katalin Bódis
    Nature Energy 1, 16140

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    In April 2018, the Mini-Grid Innovation Lab was launched by The Rockefeller Foundation and CrossBoundary. Working with partners across Africa, and supported by Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the lab will test business solutions for mini-grids based in Africa to find the most cost-effective and scalable solutions. In doing so, it aims to demonstrate to governments, policymakers, investors and donors that mini-grids can play a key role in providing energy access to 600 million people without power in Africa. Nature Energy spoke to Gabriel Davies of CrossBoundary about the objectives and achievements of the lab so far.

    • Fouad Khan
    Nature Energy 3, 910-912
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The lack of electrification in parts of the world leaves many healthcare facilities with inadequate power provision for even basic services. Pilot projects show that solar power can overcome this but, to expand further, more careful trials measuring health outcomes and better integration of energy and health policy are required.

    • Hem H. Dholakia
    Nature Energy 3, 705-707
  • News and Views |

    Energy access entails a range of metrics that need to be monitored to guide planning and implementation of electricity provision in developing nations. A study based on an extensive household survey carried out in rural India demonstrates that electricity supply duration is the best predictor for satisfaction with electricity service.

    • Karnamadakala Rahul Sharma
    •  & Gabriel Chan
    Nature Energy 1, 16171