Susann Stritzke engages with stakeholders on rural electrification on the first RISE field campaign to Zambia
Dr Susann Stritzke recently undertook her first RISE fieldtrip to Zambia. During the trip she engaged in wide ranging activities which included:
- a presentation on 'Energy Business Models and End User Perspectives' for the launch of the MicroGrid Training Academy at the University of Zambia
- a panel discussion at the Res4Africa Program Launch Zambia on a community-based approach for rural electrification
- interviews with public and private stakeholders to evaluate challenges and opportunities for rural electrification
Key lessons and insights were:
- Rural electrification and renewable energy project implementation must involve a bottom-up approach which takes the needs and capacities of individual communities into account
- Rural electrification processes are dependent on socio-technical change which entail barriers as well as opportunities for the uptake of energy solutions. These elements need to be addressed during the different stages of planning, implementation and operation
- Community involvement also needs to consider the socioeconomic context during the strategic development of rural electrification strategies and the implementation of RE projects as this context determines the operational - and business models of energy solutions in rural areas and indicate opportunities or threats to demand utilization of the energy provided.
- The implementation of renewable energy solutions in rural areas such as micro- or minigrids requires a holistic approach that is taking this context into account and requires innovative concepts that go beyond the sole provision of electricity but stimulate end-user demand and create added-value.
- The energy - water - food nexus is an important element of this strategy.
A special thanks to:
- 'Prosperity Agencies' for the successful facilitation of the field trip and
- Res4Africa for the conference invitation and the panel discussion.