My research explores how centralized and distributed energy technologies can be integrated to solve both power infrastructure and energy access challenges in emerging economies. I currently work with practitioner partners to innovate models for the future of energy service provision in sub-Saharan Africa, which have important implications for energy transition. I enjoy applied research that can be used by local stakeholders for practical and progressive purposes. My past projects have involved:
- Led research on integrated approaches to electrification, which precipitated the Utilities 2.0 initiative and a pilot implemented in Uganda with the utility and a series of small-scale energy service providers. The pilot is currently live and operational, serving power to over 400 households and businesses.
- Launched, led, and published the most comprehensive energy access jobs research for sub Saharan Africa, providing new, critical data on the link between electricity access, livelihoods, and skills. This research facilitated the establishment of the Sustainable Energy & Jobs Platform coordinated by IRENA and ILO, to promote policy on energy workforce development.
- Led Powering Agriculture campaign research, publishing new geospatial analysis identifying high priority impact areas for agro-processing in maize and coffee value chains in Uganda. This research supported the establishment of a task force led by the Ugandan Agriculture Sector Policy Working Group, which identifies solutions for finance, business models, policy, and capacity building in energy and agriculture.
- Led research which identifies key, replicable policy interventions for catalyzing energy access markets based on quantitative regression analysis. This study supported government policy commitments in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone, formalized in national energy compacts.
- Conducted research in Borneo, Southeast Asia, on incorporation of social and ecological impacts into optimization modelling tools for identification of viable clean energy alternatives. Study was used by civil society, with findings widely circulated by local media. This work supported a ground-breaking reversal of the 2.4 GW Bakun dam, and designation of over 2,400km2 of forest as protected reserve.
- Used geospatial analysis to identify priority solar investments in Bangladesh as coal alternatives, and shared insights on coal economics at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which supported the Committee’s position to call for a halt of the Lamu coal power plant in Kenya.
- Built and deployed impact assessment tools for governments, NGOs, and businesses across India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, including green job estimators, and water footprint calculators, and the first carbon emissions calculator contextualized for Caribbean islands.
See my research areas, and a selection of my past and ongoing research projects, here.