Sustainable Development Goal targets
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Decentralised renewable energy solutions are being widely deployed in low resource settings across the world, addressing the SDG7 energy access challenge where grid electricity supply is not viable. A key component of building sustainable business models around off-grid energy supply is stimulating the development of the local (primarily agriculture based) economies. This project investigates and develops Productive Use of Energy (PUE) technology and business models that can be deployed in conjunction with off-grid solar PV systems, creating a virtuous circle that improves the business case, and overall impact, of both.
This VIP4SD project is linked to numerous ongoing research and KE projects led by the EEE Energy for Development team. These projects are mostly focussed on the SDG7 challenges of Malawi and are conducted in partnership with local NGOs. Therefore, the project will be directly influenced by the needs of real communities, will have access to a rich source of data and will have a clear route to impact. This project is focussed on engineering and business disciplines, although properly influenced by the social context.
What will students be doing
The main objective of this project is to develop a flexible framework for rapid techo-economic feasibility assessment of PUE opportunities that can be implemented easily by NGO partners for a range of scenarios.
Activities will include:
- researching and designing appropriate value add technology (cold storage, small scale milling, oil pressing, tomato processing)
- designing appropriate energy systems to support the value add technology
- researching value chains and undertaking market assessments
- financial modelling of proposed business models
Through this work, students will develop their research skills, including field research skills. They will also develop their technical capabilities and gain an understanding of business models while working as part of a diverse team. Students will further develop their understanding of the SDGs and global citizenship.