Sustainable energy access
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 sustainable energy is a powerful solution to poverty.
Using technology to challenge poverty
Practical Action aims to increase poor people's access to sustainable 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
Have the global negotiations for a new climate agreement switched from a marathon to an egg and spoon race?
We are now in the final leg of the marathon negotiations for a new climate agreement. At the last meeting in Bonn, the negotiators were expected to intensify their pace, but by the end o...
We tend to think of development, not in terms of evolution, but in terms of creation. ~ EF SchumacherBased on a trolley (3-wheeler) this new innovation of a Solar Power Cart “Soura Ratha” can produce up to 1KW green energy which will provide hassle free power supply i...
At this year's Small is Festival held at the Centre for Alternative Technology in West Wales, I met Rod Edwards, who worked at Practical Action (then ITDG) from 1986 to 1992. As we're celebrating 50 years of Practical Action, I was eager to find out more about his work back then.
This week I am at the World Energy Council congress in Addis Ababa and have had the opportunity to speak at a couple of sessions on energy access. There have been some lively and informed debates, but for me the most interesting thing (given the congress attendees are generally from the formal po...
These videos outline the background to the UNFCCC meetings held recently in preparation for the vital COP21 climate change talks in Paris at the end of November.
Technology needs assessmentOver the past year developing countries have been identifying their priority technology needs, t...
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