Community energy resilience

a group of people carrying a wind turbine
Wind turbine, China 2009.

The world’s poorest communities are worst affected by the impacts of climate change, disasters and conflicts. The infrastructure that supports their lives is fragile and easily disrupted. Progress towards energy access can only be maintained by addressing the increasing shocks and stresses that these communities face.

Enhancing community energy resilience using renewable energy in developing countries

In 2018, Dr Long Seng To became the University’s first researcher to be awarded an Engineering for Development Research Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering. These five-year fellowships are awarded to projects that tackle challenges faced by developing countries and highlight the vital role of engineering in achieving sustainable global development. Dr To is working with Mzuzu University, Tribhuvan University and other leading institutions to build more resilient energy systems. The project focuses on identifying and building upon the resilience strategies of communities and includes four pilot projects in Malawi and Nepal.

Community energy systems and sustainable energy transitions (CESET) project

Supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund, CESET explores the potential of community energy to accelerate inclusive and clean energy transitions in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique. STEER co-leads the work package focused on exploring the landscape of community energy in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique, and contributes expertise on energy resilience.

Frameworks and tools for energy resilience

Dr Long Seng To chairs the Solar Energy Subgroup of the UN Expert Group on Resource Management which developed the Solar Specifications for the application of the UN Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) to solar energy. This standardises how solar energy resources is classified and reported and will lead to improved energy resilience by improving resource management. It will also enable greater investment in and development of solar energy.

STEER has played a central role in strengthen partnerships for the Framework for Energy Security and Resilience in the Pacific (FESRIP) 2021-2030, including coordinating a series of high-level events in December 2020, July 2021 and September 2021. The collaboration includes the Pacific Community, Pacific Islands Forum, University of the South Pacific, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Pacific Power Association, International Renewable Energy Agency, University of Papua New Guinea and University of New South Wales.

STEER contributes to the development of the energy component of QSAND a self-assessment tool to promote sustainable approaches to relief, recovery and reconstruction after natural disasters.

Key Publications: