Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sustainable Development and Energy Poverty and Sustainable Development and Energy Poverty

Greetings from the Energy Change Institute at the ustralian National University in Canberra, where Professor Gautama, of Washington University's Brown School, is speaking on " Energy Poverty", author of "Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion: The State of the Energy Impoverished" (short video about the book also available). He is at ANU with Professor Chris Greg of the UQ Energy Institute. Greg pointed out that most energy research at universities concentrates on large scale engineering, whereas most of the world is dependent on small scale sources. Professor Gautama expanded on this, explains that the developing world relies on cruse cook-stoves for their primary energy system. He argues that addressing this is a moral imperative for researchers. However, many initiative for developing nations have failed in the past, between the stages of development, implementation and maintenance. Developing nations have very intelligent people and markets, so I suggest helping them to solve the problem, not imposing a solution on them.

Professor Gautama described research into why those in developed nations decide or not decide to use cleaner fuels in place of wood stoves. However, I am not sure that a group of first world researchers, sitting in a building which is powered by burning coal (to generate electricity) are really in a moral position to tell those in developing nations what to do. Perhaps we first need to understand our own energy motivations and clean up our own act. Also it may be that simple marketing and markets could be used.

Roundtable on Energy Poverty

Gautam N. Yadama addresses issues related to poverty, the role of non-governmental organizations in sustainable development, and governance of common pool resources. He is particularly interested in understanding how communities partner with the state to supply and manage public goods for the benefit of the poor and the marginalized. His current research focuses on understanding micro-institutional mechanisms for managing community forests under various exogenous conditions, including state-community relations, decentralization, and resource pressures. He has worked on community forestry issues in India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Turkey. Have questions about Roundtable on Energy Poverty with Prof Gautama of Brown School, WUSTL?

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