Sustainable access to renewable energy sources 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 renewable energy sources are a powerful solution to poverty.
Using technology to challenge poverty
Practical Action aims to increase poor people's access to renewable energy, through improving the efficiency of stoves, and through small-scale, low-cost, off-grid electricity supply.
Projects like this depend on your support. Please help us to work with communities around the world to save lives and improve livelihoods.
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 renewable energy sources.
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
Two weeks ago I attended the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul and thought I would share a few thoughts.
Firstly, the positive message! The side-event on the Moving Energy Initiative with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves went very well: The next phase of funding was agreed and addi...
The 19th of June is Father's Day, so I thought what better time to share some stories of some amazing fathers that Practical Action has worked with around the world, only made possible because of our kind and generous supporters.
5. Anthony Ndugu, Kenya
Before Practical Action began working...
These women from Koraput are trend setters
The magnificent, green natural landscape with elegant tribal culture and life style of Koraput district also has gender inequality and acute poverty. According to a Practical Action study, most women in these hilly terrains depend on firewood for cook...
Some rural areas of Zimbabwe are currently in a state of disaster after being hit by a severe drought. But there is hope that a new Practical Action project in the country using solar power to irrigate land could help overcome the problems that climate change is causing.
A couple of hours’...
Biomass energy (firewood, charcoal, and crop residues) makes up more than 80% of primary energy consumption in Sudan. Over many years, it has become evident that high dependence on biomass energy is a major factor in forest cover depletion, environmental degradation and desertification. Successiv...
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 renewable 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