Welcome to the Energy for Development Network

The Energy for Development Network aims to enable a step-change in collaborative research and project development addressing the energy needs of rural communities in developing countries. The work is being lead and coordinated by the Sustainable Energy Research Group at the University of Southampton.

Development and Minigrids – Rural Africa Conference 2015

As part of the Energy for Development programme, a two-day conference on Development and Minigrids in Rural Africa was held in Nairobi on 11th and 12th May 2015.

The purpose of the conference was to bring together active partners in the field and to disseminate the e4D work on Energy for Development. Representatives from government, business, NGOs and academia spoke on, and led discussions on on “Development and Minigrids” in rural communities within Africa. The presentations encompassed social, business and engineering aspects. A site visit to the Kitonyoni co-operative mini-grid took place on the second day.

Read a summary of the conference open discussion on rural mini-grids

Implementation Sites

Kitonyoni solar power plant

Kitonyoni, Kenya

Oloika, Kenya


Bambouti, Cameroon

Plus plans for further projects in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Zambia

Sustainable rural electrification

Reliable and affordable sources of energy are fundamental not only for wellbeing, but also for economic growth and poverty reduction. Fulfilling the energy needs of developing countries without compromising the environment is a challenge, requiring imaginative policies and methods. Many rural communities do not have access to the national electricity network or the associated benefits in health and quality of life provided by electrical services such as lighting and refrigeration. The installation of modular energy technologies that can be operated independently provides a solution for these areas.

We argue that to implement sustainable rural electrification, three important components are required:

People: Engagement of the local community in determining their needs, aspirations and goals.  A thorough assessment of the social, economic and cultural context of the community is essential to identify the most appropriate system.

Product: Selection of technologies that are best suited for the local situation, based not only on the resources available but identification of the wants and needs of the community.

Process: The introduction of energy systems must be accompanied by the development of business processes to allow sustainable replication, deliver social benefits and generate wealth for the community.

The Energy for Development Network aims to combine these three key components to develop appropriate, replicable models for energy systems that recognize the socio-economic and financial, as well as technical aspects of supplying energy.

Most Recent News

April 2015: e4D Conference “Development and Minigrids” – Rural Africa Tentative Programme Available

For the tentative programme for the two-day conference please click here

February 2015: Register for e4D updates

To register for e4D updates please click here

February 2015: Two-day Conference A two-day conference entitled “Development and Minigrids”- Rural Africa will be held in Nairobi on 11th and 12th May 2015.

September 2013: Community Progress within the First Year Operation of the Solar Rural Electrification Project in Kenya
This month, the e4D team celebrates the first year of operation of the Kitonyoni project which has undoubtedly transformed the trading centre, the lives of the villagers and has provided the research team a full year of data to appraise system performance, energy demand and relate to overall project replication. The project is now a beacon in Africa having many local and international visitors such as from Japan, Germany, UK, Zambia, the World Bank and other funding agencies. Read more about the first year of the project.

July 2013: Prof Bahaj gives Lecture on Energy for Development at the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah Saudi Arabia
Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj, Head of Sustainable Energy Research Group, gave a lecture entitled ‘A New Approach to Energy for Development’ at Saudi Arabian joint event on community of practice on poverty reduction, community of practice on infrastructure and ISFD knowledge initiative for poverty reduction. Read More.

June 2013: Two new villages set for electrification
The villages of Bambouti in Cameroon and Oloika in Kenyas rift valley are set for electrification by the e4D team and partners. Baseline data has been collected and the villages will undergo installation in the coming months.

May 2013: e4D lecture by Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj
Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj, Head of Sustainable Energy Research Group, gave a talk on energy for development as part of the University of Southampton Lecture Series on Energy and Climate Change. The lecture series aims to promote debate on energy and climate change and inform on current state of the art research and development.

February 2013: Power consumption exceeds 1MWh
Latest data readings show that the PV plant in Kitonyoni has supplied over 1 MWh of electricity to the village. The largest daily consumption to date occurred on Christmas day 2012 and was measured at 13.87kWh/day.

December 2012: Power consumption in Kitonyoni
Currently around 10kWh are used by Kitonyoni’s 40 local businesses, the school and village dispensary per day.

more news

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