UCL-Energy Seminar: 'Deliberating on low carbon energy opportunities across Africa and some of the dilemmas' with Professor Yacob Mulugetta, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP) at University College London
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 from 17:30 to 19:30 (BST)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa with at least a dozen growing by more than 6% a year for more than six years. Maintaining this level of growth cannot continue without stable and affordable energy services. In addition, the legacy of low electricity access (30% access) and heavy reliance on traditional biomass demands significant investment to build an ‘inclusive’ energy infrastructure.
The advantage is that energy infrastructures across Africa are yet to be built and thus offers some room to shape ‘energy futures’. Low carbon options are expected to play a major role as a way to deliver multiple sustainable development benefits: economic development, social inclusion and emissions avoidance. However, some important challenges lie ahead such as tensions between the urgency for short-term responses and need for loner-term planning, between incumbents and new entrants into the energy market, and between policy goals of climate change mitigation and poverty alleviation. There are also different country circumstances in terms of resource base and human capacity, thereby implying different interpretations of low carbon pathways.
The seminar will sketch out the current discussions in the African energy landscape and explore some low carbon cases at different scales, and raise questions for research in technology innovation, policy and institutional development.
About the speaker:
Yacob Mulugetta is Professor of Energy and Development Policy at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP) at University College London (UCL). Yacob has 20 years of research, teaching and policy advice experience specializing in the links between basic infrastructure provision and human welfare, with a particular focus on access to clean energy services to address poverty and development concerns. Previously, he was an academic staff at the Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, UK. Between 2010 and 2013, Yacob was based at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he helped set up the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC). At ACPC, he initiated a variety of policy-relevant initiatives on the opportunities for and constraints of pursuing low carbon pathways for development in Africa, and facilitated a number of high-level roundtables on energy development and climate. Yacob was Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter on Energy Systems of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group III on Mitigation) and a member of the Core Writing Team of the IPCC Synthesis Report.
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When & Where
UCL Energy Institute
About the UCL Energy Institute:
Founded in June 2009, the UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy) was established as UCL’s response to the global challenges of mitigating climate change and providing energy security in the 21st century. UCL-Energy, which sits within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL, brings together different perspectives, understandings and procedures in energy research, transcending the boundaries between academic disciplines. It coordinates multidisciplinary teams from across the University, with the aim of accelerating the transition to a globally sustainable energy system through world-class energy research, education and policy support. www.ucl.ac.uk/energy Follow on Twitter @ucl_energy