RISE complete first field research trip to Zambia
The RISE programme team have successfully completed their first field research trip to Zambia.
Dr Susann Stritzke visited Lusaka from the 29th of November to the 1st of December 2018 and completed a comprehensive schedule which comprised a presentation on energy business models and end user perspectives' for the launch of the MicroGrid Training Academy at the University of Zambia, presented a community-based approach for rural electrification in a panel discussion at the Res4Africa Program Launch Zambia and conducted a number of interviews with public and private stakeholders.
The key learning lessons and insights gained during the trip and in exchange with numerous stakeholders from various levels where that rural electrification and RE project implementation must involve a bottom-up approach taking the needs and capacities of communities into account. Rural electrification processes are processes of socio-technical change which entail barriers but also opportunities for the uptake of energy solutions which need to be addressed during the different stages of planning, implementation and operation. Community involvement also means taking the socioeconomic context into account 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.
We thank our research partner 'Prosperity Agencies' for the successful facilitation of the field trip and Res4Africa for the invitation to the conference and the panel discussion.