News - Jonathan Phillips

In a new policy brief, Duke University's Energy Access Project, in collaboration with the Energy Access team at CrossBoundary Group, looked at the experiences of seven countries that have made great strides in bringing electricity to their rural populations: Brazil, Chile, Laos, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, and Tunisia. Despite widely different circumstances and initial electrification rates, there are important similarities.

Technologies like geospatial imagery, machine learning and affordable batteries are generating ever more innovative ways to target customers with off-grid energy solutions. But according to analysts at the Duke University Energy Access Project, public policy is struggling to keep up with these rapid-fire developments, leaving vast amounts of human capacity and productivity untapped.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced that “25x25: End Energy Poverty Faster,” submitted by the 25x25 Electricity Access Acceleration Collaborative, was one of the Top 100 proposals in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges. The Duke University Energy Access Project is part of the collaborative.

The Energy Access Project at Duke, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and Sustainable Energy For All, have developed an Energy Access Dividend for Haiti and Honduras with the aim of quantifying the benefits of accelerated access and increased reliability in those countries.

A United Nations report this fall found that 840 million people live without access to reliable electricity. Most of them are in Africa, and most live in rural areas, beyond the reach of the grid. A new post in NPR's Goats and Soda blog, discusses these regular power shortages in many low- and middle-income countries.

A dozen student teams came to Duke University on Nov. 5 for the finals of the Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition to pitch solutions to one of the biggest energy challenges faced in Nigeria—poor reliability in urban areas. Now in its seventh year, the competition is one of the signature events of Energy Week at Duke.

According to USAID, only 4 percent of people in rural Zambia has access to power. As a part of an interdisciplinary team called Bass Connections, a Duke University student team has spent the past academic year trying to get a better understanding of the barriers to energy investment there.

Nearly a third of humanity lacks reliable electricity. Over the summer as part of Duke University’s Data+ program, Duke student teams deployed cutting-edge data analysis techniques to aid the search for solutions to this global challenge.

The Duke University Energy Access Project aims to help achieve the United Nation’s (U.N.) seventh Sustainable Development Goal, which is to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Catalyst Program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke University faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies.