Category: Resources

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BR5: A Vision for Smart Villages

What are the characteristic features of a smart village? How might progression towards a smart village model improve lives in those communities? This brief provides a vision for improving the lives of rural villagers based on the smart villages concept (a rural analogue to smart cities). It also explores two prototypical case studies in Malaysia …

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TR3: Smart Villages – the gender and energy context

Whilst gender inequality is not something that can be solved purely by energy access, with the Smart Villages Initiative’s integrated vision for energy in rural villages, we can aim towards a coordinated and effective approach to gender in rural development more broadly and have a positive effect on the fight against gender inequality. This report …

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Book of collected essays from world experts released

Opinion pieces from experts tackling the idea of energy as a catalyst for sustainable development – health, food security, education gender equality, governance, security and employment. Smart Villages: New Thinking for off-grid communities worldwide comprises 16 essays written by scientists and leading thinkers from around the world. 1.3 billion people worldwide still lack access to …

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[:en]Smart Villages | New thinking for off-grid communities worldwide[:es]Una nueva manera de pensar para comunidades sin conexión a la red a nivel mundial Smart[:fr]De nouvelles initiatives pour les populations hors réseau du monde entier[:]

[:en]Smart Villages presents 16 essays by leading scientists and thinkers, providing policy makers, donors and development agencies concerned with rural energy access with new insights on the barriers to energy access in villages in developing countries – technological, financial and political – and explores opportunities and efforts to overcome them. The book describes the personal …

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BR4: Smart Villages and gender

This policy brief summarises key gender issues associated with rural energy access for development and establishing smart villages. It draws on a more detailed technical report (Welland, 2015) which identifies the reports and papers on which this review has been based.

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Energy for off-grid villages in Nepal and the role of mini-grids

Nepal’s energy situation reflects its challenging terrain (over 75% mountainous) and very low income levels (UNDP, 2013). About 25% of Nepal’s 26.5 million people live below the poverty line, which varies by region but averaged 19,261 NPR per year (or about USD 0.75 per day) in FY 2010/2011 (Central Bureau of Satistics, 2012). The nation …

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Smart Villages completes first phase of energy impact study in remote off-grid Rwandan village

Project aims to provide rationale for wider investment in last mile communities throughout the developing world as new Sustainable Development Goals come into operation The Smart Villages Initiative today announced that it has completed the first phase of a specially designed study to quantify and understand the impact of sustainable modern energy access on rural …

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The energy–water–food nexus at decentralized scales

This paper uses Practical Action’s experiences with micro-hydro schemes to connect global nexus debates to the experiences of and solutions for remote off-grid communities and smallholder farmers. Through examples in Peru, Nepal, and Zimbabwe we exemplify the need for an integrated approach to energy, water, and food security. We show that decentralized energy provision has …

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Growing power: Exploring energy needs in smallholder agriculture

There is a growing interest in how to deliver energy services to people on a low income, not just for household use but to earn a living: the so-called ‘productive uses’ of energy. One sector that deserves particular attention is smallholder agriculture. Expanding access to modern energy services and equipment for farmers could help address …

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WR5: Smart Villages in Nepal: Kathmandu Workshop Report

The Smart Villages Initiative, working with its local partner Practical Action Consulting South Asia, held a workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal on 10th April 2015. The aim of the workshop was to learn lessons from Nepal’s experience of micro/mini-hydroelectric schemes for off-grid rural communities and associated initiatives to stimulate productive enterprises which could be shared with …

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BR3: Findings from the Nepal Smart Villages Workshop

The Smart Villages Initiative together with its local partner, Practical Action Consulting South Asia, held a workshop in Kathmandu on 10th April 2015 to consider off-grid energy systems in Nepal. The workshop focused on Nepal’s substantial experience of micro/mini-hydro schemes, and on initiatives to stimulate productive enterprises enabled by the availability of sustainable electricity supplies. …

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Off-grid village energy workshop in Nepal highlights key role of mini-hydro schemes

Smart Villages and Practical Action Consulting off-grid village energy workshop in Nepal highlights key role of mini-hydro schemes In the latest of a series of workshops across the SE Asia region, the Smart Villages Initiative and Practical Action Consulting brought together a diverse cross-section of participants in the Nepali off-grid energy sector. The Smart Villages …

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The business case for off-grid energy in India

Approximately 360 million people in India lack adequate access to grid-electricity and another 20 million households receive less than four hours of electricity per day. To help close this gap, the Government of India has set a target of generating 100 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022. But while grid connectivity is expected to improve …

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Energy Innovation Challenge

The Smart Villages Energy Innovation Challenge, launching today, challenges young East African entrepreneurs to form teams and come up with imaginative ways of distributing or implementing novel or existing energy technologies for off-grid villages. Each team should include one engineer or scientist. The teams with the best entries will win a spot in the Cambridge …

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Accelerating off-grid renewable energy (IOREC 2014: Key Findings and Recommendations)

Universal electricity access – one of the targets of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative for 2030 – will remain unachievable unless countries adopt a market-based approach to off-grid renewable energy deployment. This report highlights key findings and recommendations of the Second International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC 2014), organised by the International Renewable …

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TR2: Electricity for off-grid villages – an overview

This ‘State of Play’ ‘technical report provides a review of the literature relating to the issues around provision of electricity to off-grid villages in 2015. It summarises key challenges associated with the provision of electricity to off-grid villages, and views set out in the literature on the opportunities and required framework conditions to address those …

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BR2: The role of innovation competitions for off-grid energy in Africa

Innovation competitions for new technologies and business models are one tool used by policy makers in a range of contexts and countries to help businesses in new fields overcome practical barriers blocking progress between successful pilots and commercialisation. This brief note discusses competitions relevant to African off-grid energy and how they could be designed and …

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WR4: Kuching Workshop Report on Smart Villages in Southeast Asia

Summary This report summarises the information presented at, and conclusions arising from, the second major international workshop of the Smart Villages Initiative. The workshop took place in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak, Malaysia, on the campus of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), and marked the beginning of a 12-month programme of engagement by the Smart …

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ASEAN Infographic

This infographic summarises the  requirement for and the challenges to energy access across the ASEAN region (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore , Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam). The ASEAN region is now the engine of the global economy. Its spectacular growth over the past two decades has lifted hundreds of millions of people out …

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Informality and market governance in wood and charcoal value chains

Two billion people rely on wood and charcoal for their daily energy needs. But supply chains are often environmentally unsustainable, and poor actors rarely capture enough value from trade in these products. This briefing discusses two innovative cases in the governance of biomass markets, which enhance the inclusion of informal actors. The first shows how …

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