Sustainable access to modern energy services for all
Despite the availability of technical solutions, 1.3 billion people are still without any form of electricity and 3 billion people still cook over open fires.
Practical Action provides practical power: renewable, locally-sourced sustainable energy solutions which lift people out of poverty.
- Energy enables people to work their way out of poverty.
- Energy provides better access to education and other basic services.
- Energy improves health and wellbeing, especially for women and children.
Practical Action is committed to Total Energy Access, because we know from our work on the ground that energy is a powerful solution to poverty.
Using technology to challenge poverty
Practical Action aims to increase poor people's access to energy, through improving the efficiency of stoves, and through small-scale, low-cost, off-grid electricity supply.
There is no “one size fits all” answer, which is why we don’t start with the technology, but with the people who use and benefit from it. Practical Action begins by talking to the people we are working with.
Find our more about the practical, sustainable technologies that people can use to improve their lives
Practical Action believes that there does not have to be a trade-off between human development and the environment. Millions can be lifted out of poverty without ruining the planet with the help of clean sustainable energy.
Our Poor people's energy briefing series offers critical input into the fast moving and dynamic energy sector from the perspective of what matters for poor people.
Poor people's energy outlook
Practical Action has launched the Poor people’s energy outlook reports as a catalyst for a movement for change on energy access, and a source of information to support it.
The 2014 edition of the PPEO looks back at three years of analysis, to re-evaluate the key enabling role that energy plays in lifting people out of poverty. The report summarizes key lessons and evidence presented thus far and brings our learning up to date.
Energy access on our blogs
During the aftermath of massive disasters like an earthquake, life becomes chaotic. Lack of access to energy becomes one of the alarming problems immediately after the disaster as well as in the long term. Instantly after the disaster, mobile networks, phone lines, water as well as electricity su...
This is my third blog from Nepal, written at the airport in Kathmandu waiting for my flight back home. It’s always great to visit our programmes and catch up with our staff. Here in Nepal people are gradually picking up again after the earthquakes and life seems to be getting back to normal, at l...
Energy Engagement Series Recap: “How can accelerating on-grid solutions help developing countries leapfrog to better electricity access?”
Practical Action and the World Resources Institute (WRI) regularly host a Washington, DC based "Energy Engagement Series". Our last event was hosted by WRI's Joshua Ryor and Sarah Martin and asked our attendees to discuss how accelerating on-grid solutions help developing countries leapfrog t...
Spending a week in Manila at the Asia Clean Energy Forum was an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn about what is going on in the energy access space in this key region of the world. What I learned there was both inspiring and disappointing however. Check out my thoughts on...
This is a guest post from WRI's Lily Odarno about the joint Energy Engagement Series Practical Action hosts with WRI each month in Washington, DC. This event is meant to be a discussion that brings together leaders in the energy access space. This summary is from an event we held in May disc...
Indoor air pollution
Nearly two million people die each year as a result of inhaling lethal smoke from kitchen stoves and fires.
But there are solutions - improved cooking stoves and simple smoke hoods can reduce indoor smoke levels by up to 80%.
Most rural people cannot access large-scale power grids, and their only alternative is small stand-alone energy schemes. We develop appropriate options, including small-scale solar photovoltaic, wind, biomass and hydro schemes
The Mulanje Electricity Generation Authority micro-hydro project is a sustainable and ambitious social enterprise - aiming to tackle the dual challenges of sustainability and scale.
Our technical information service has a wide range of downloadable resources on all aspects of energy access, free to download.
Practical Action Consulting is working with GVEP, Chatham House, UNHCR and the Norwegian Refugee Council on the Moving Energy Initiative (MEI), an innovative project that seeks to meet the energy needs of displaced people in a safe, sustainable manner, developing solutions for heating/cooling, cooking, lighting, electrification and water and sanitation.Find out more