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Low carbon energy

Energy plays a key role in development, and there is an urgent need to expand the access that poor people have to modern forms of energy, including electricity. But at the same time, energy is the single largest source of carbon emissions. Expanding energy use in poor countries while containing emission growth means both more efficient production and use of energy, and switching to low carbon forms of energy, including renewable energy. A very basic increase in energy efficiency can be achieved through improvements to cooking stoves used by billions of people worldwide. Renewable electricity, especially in off-grid applications such as solar photovoltaic (PV) home systems, and so called mini-grids, are also beginning to spread. A key issue is how to support these emerging trends and scale them up through access to finance and other means.

Image credit: NTU - Brackenhurst

Renewable energy sources and climate change mitigation
O. Edenhofer (ed); R. Pichs Madruga (ed); Y. Sokona (ed) / Cambridge University 2012
This extensive report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides an assessment and analysis of renewable technologies and their potential role in mitigating climate change. The report aims to provide a definiti...
Poor people’s energy outlook 2010
S. Hunt (ed); A. Scott (ed); L. Bates (ed) / Practical Action [Intermediate Technology Development Group] 2010
Many people in the world still lack access to electricity and rely on traditional biomass and coal for cooking. According to this report, energy poverty is critically undermining the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MD...
Hybrid mini-grids for rural electrification: lessons learned
S. Rolland; C. Guerrero / USA Agency for International Development 2011
There are currently around 1.5 billion people in the world without access to electricity. This report summarises lessons learned from hybrid mini-grid projects implemented by members of the Alliance for Rural Development (ARE) and pro...
Household cookstoves, environment, health, and climate change: a new look at an old problem
S. Akbar (ed); D. Barnes (ed); A. Eil (ed) / World Bank 2011
In many developing countries, the poor are still using biomass energy to meet their household cooking needs. This report examines the lessons learned from cookstove campaigns, policies and programmes and the potential of advanced biom...