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.
Household air pollution
Over four 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%.
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 2016 edition of the PPEO explores energy access planning from the perspectives of poor people. It uses case study evidence from three contrasting countries to unpick what it means to plan for energy access from the bottom up.
Energy access on our blogs
Margaret Kariuku is a Kenyan woman who has not had the easiest path to success. As a mother of four, she has struggled to find a stable income to provide for herself and her children.
"Three times, I have had to start again. Three times, I have had to rebuild my livelihood. It all begun in ...
Globally, 1.3 billion people have no access to energy and it’s this lack of access that is keeping people living in poverty. Energy has the power to transform lives, it enables clinics to offer 24 hour care, for school children to study at night and it enables farmers to irrigate their land wi...
This article is informed by research conducted at Practical Action’s Southern Africa offices in Harare, Zimbabwe as part of a work-based placement at the University of Edinburgh.
Distributed renewables for accessThe ongoing energy poverty that leaves 1.2 billion people in the world wi...
With a number of challenges on the field and off the field, the team in India has managed to deliver some good sustainable practical solutions in last couple of years. Moving ahead for an eventful 2017 and with added challenges and milestones, I thought of ending the year with looking back at the...
Cooking is a daily necessity - for some a chore, for others a pleasure. I’m happy to count myself in the latter category. Luckily for me, cooking is made easier by the availability of clean, reliable energy. But this sadly is not the case for a third of the world population.
In many develop...
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
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