PIRE Confronting Energy Poverty: Building an Interdisciplinary Evidence Base, Network and Capacity for Transformative Change
Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicenter of the global challenge of energy poverty, defined as the lack of access to electricity and reliance on biomass fuels. In Southern Africa, the absolute number of energy poor is projected to increase through 2050. Energy poverty has implications for climate, environmental sustainability, human health, and well-being, with negative impacts realized at individual and collective-scales, and in local, regional, and global contexts. The complex socio-environmental challenge of energy poverty requires contributions from engineering and the natural and social sciences, with integration of evidence and learning using robust interdisciplinary frameworks. Through the Energy Poverty PIRE (EPP) we will foster and sustain a network of academic, practitioner, and policy communities to fill critical gaps in the theoretical and empirical evidence base regarding strategies for mitigating energy poverty. International partnership is critical to the identification and study of important novel and scalable energy poverty innovations, analyzing the socio-environmental causes and consequences of energy poverty at multiple-scales, and to developing a virtuous cycle of evidence based policy making. The EPP will train over 70 postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate researchers from a disciplines as diverse as anthropology and engineering in excellence in interdisciplinary collaborative research in low resource international settings.
National Science Foundation-Subcontracts
Funding Period: 1/1/2019 to 12/31/2019