Energy Access Project

Solar panel on home

The production and use of energy has far-reaching implications for human health, economic opportunity, and the livability of the planet. With nearly a third of humanity lacking reliable electricity and three billion people without clean fuels and technologies for cooking, energy access represents one of the greatest challenges of our time.

The Energy Access Project at Duke University is a new research and policy effort that aims to address the challenges around increasing access to modern energy solutions to underserved populations around the world. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to developing sustainable, modern energy for all. Established in 2017, the project supports foundational research and fosters constructive dialogue among the world’s policy makers, entrepreneurs, and scholars to identify ways of applying that research. It engages students, locally and globally, in finding innovative approaches to accelerate clean energy deployment in emerging markets. It’s supporting the development of new, disruptive tools, such as the means to evaluate electricity access through machine learning techniques applied to aerial imagery data.

Eliminating energy poverty will require accelerated deployment of technology, a paradigm shift in capital deployment, and bold regulatory models that embrace energy system transformation. The Energy Access Project is working to provide policy makers, project developers, investors, civil society and impacted communities with the tools and analysis to help drive this transformation.

Key Duke collaborators in this effort include the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the Duke University Energy Initiative, the Sanford School of Public Policy, Bass Connections, and the Nicholas School of the Environment.

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