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Key Challenges to Energy Access in the Developing World [VIDEO]

energy access and development

On Sept 10, 2013, the MIT Energy for Development (e4Dev) group, which hosts this column, had its launch event featuring a panel of five very knowledgable speakers. The themes that our speakers touched on resonate throughout the speakers, discussions, and topics that e4Dev has engaged with in the last year and a half. The complexity of the energy challenge, the incredible need for investment, and the tension between development and environmental preservation are just a few of those ideas. These two videos, compiled from footage from that panel, provide a window into some of the most pressing challenges in the space of energy for development space. The first considers the framing and scope of the energy challenge, and the second addresses the tension between development and climate change in the Chinese context. 

The featured speakers include:

  • John Sterman, Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management and Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group
  • Michael Greenstone, 3M Professor of Environmental Economics
  • Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga, Visiting Professor at the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research
  • Leslie HookFinancial Times Reporter and Harvard Nieman Foundation Fellow
  • With moderator Robert Stoner, MITEI Deputy Director

Key Challenges for Energy in the Developing World:

China illustrates the tension between development and climate change goals:

Content Discussion

Erich J. Knight's picture
Erich J. Knight on April 6, 2015

Clean Biomass cooking is no small thing.

The World Bank Study;
Biochar Systems for Smallholders in Developing Countries:
Leveraging Current Knowledge and Exploring Future Potential for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Has very exacting analysis of biomass usage & sources, energy & emissions.
Also for Onion farmers in Senegal and Peanut farmers in Vietnam.

A simple extrapolation made from the Kenya cook stove study, assuming 250M
TLUDs, (Top-Lite Up Draft) Cook Stoves for the roughly 1 billion folks world wide now using open burning.
A TLUD per Household of 4, producing 0.52 tons Biochar/Household/yr, X 250M = 130 Mt BioChar/yr
Showing sequestration of 130 Million tons of Biochar per year, could be achieved just from cooking.
In terms of CO2e, these 250M Households reduce 825M Tons of CO2e annually.

The cascading pulmonary health benefits for woman & children is the very thick icing on this 0.825 GtCO2e Soil Carbon Cake.