LCEDN Day Conference: Off-Grid and Renewable Transitions in Energy Livelihoods (Durham, March 23rd and 24th)

LCEDN Day Conference: Off-Grid and Renewable Transitions in Energy Livelihoods (Durham, March 23rd and 24th)

Event Rationale

To go straight to the event registration page: follow this link

Between January 2012 and June 2013, the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network was supported by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to create momentum among the UK research community, working on accessibility to renewable energy for the poor in the developing world. A network was formed to gather a database of expertise, to bring focus to major challenges, connect with overseas partners, and establish the UK as a hub for leading research in this field.

Three conferences were held at Loughborough (April 2012), Sussex (September 2012) and Imperial College (June 2013). Collaborations came about and interdisciplinary conversations took off, our significant web presence was established with regularly updated news, blogs and other activities on this site, together with a searchable database of UK research expertise in this area and innovative research mapping activity. University, NGO, policy and private sectors exchanged perspectives. Young researchers learned of each others’ projects, swapped ideas, and experienced practitioners sharing lessons from different parts of the world. The network played a role in bringing together the EPSRC, DFID and DECC to fund the Understanding Sustainable Energy Solutions (USES) research programme, which has been up and running since October 2013.

Since then the network has attempted to maintain its presence and develop new activities via the use of its members’ own resources and collaborations with a variety of different partners (e.g. with DECC, the Energy Knowledge Transfer Network and UKCDS for a meeting on the role of UK SMEs in the low carbon energy sector in September 2014 and with the Bioenergy SUPERGEN hub and UKCDS for a workshop on bioenergy in January 2015). We have also been funded by the EPSRC to network the projects funded under the USES programme ( The network is managed by the Durham Energy Institute and the Midlands Energy Consortium in close collaboration with Imperial College, the University of Sussex and UKERC..

Future Directions:
Whilst there has been wide involvement from across the LCEDN in the more recent events described above, we have not held a specific LCEDN-badged conference since June 2013. Voices from the community assembled within the LCEDN have often since expressed their support for reconvening the broad-based dynamic interactions over pro-poor low carbon energy which characterised our first three events and also the opportunity to debate how we might take the LCEDN forward into its next stages. Given these demands, we thought that it was the right time to convene another LCEDN conference, and are enormously pleased to announce the fourth LCEDN conference, this time to be held at Durham:
The LCEDN has three main purposes for this conference.
1. To reconnect and review the agenda of pro-poor renewable energy (Global poverty trends and context of Paris Climate Talks)
2. To learn from the first findings of the individual USES projects (Impact Underway)
3. To chart the best way forward for the LCEDN community (Strategic Directions)

Attendance is free, but registration is required: via this link

Provisional Programme:

Monday 23rd March (Early bird enthusiasts warm-up programme)

5.00PM: site visit to renovated Durham ice-rink hydro-generator,
Evening introductory sessions: Films, and Durham campus energy hub reception
Zen Restaurant dinner (20 persons for first sign-ups)

Tuesday 24th March

Holgate Room, Grey College

9.30 a.m. Workshop register and coffee

10 a.m. start Welcome from Ben Campbell & Simon Hogg (Durham Energy Institute)

10.10 Introduction & update Ed Brown (Midlands Energy Consortium)

10.30 – 2 Keynote speakers: Dipak Gyawali (Interdisciplinary Analysts, Nepal) and Judith Cherni (Imperial College, London, Solar Network) & Qs

11.30 coffee

12.00 Energy Livelihoods workshop tables: scribble sheets and discussion of priority research issues.
– What implications can we see in the growth in profile of renewable energy?
– What are the implications for livelihoods? What are we getting?
– How can we recognise success?
– Who benefits most and what are negative elements?
– What of urban-rural flows?
– Examples of development with best intentions have unintended consequences, are we seeing this in Renewable Energy?
– Can we see correspondences in cases of socio-technical ‘ownership’ in low carbon energy livelihoods?

Table topics: Households and Energy, Governance and Energy, Enterprise and Energy, Ecology and Energy, Education and Energy, City-Regions and Energy, Transitions and Energy (swap three times between different tables)

12.45 Energy Livelihoods workshop tables plenary feedback

1.00 lunch

Lessons from Interdisciplinary and Cross-Sectoral Collaborations
Spotlighting features of effective process, engaging with diversity among energy livelihood actors, reassembling energy regimes and scales of practice

2.00 Dave Ockwell (Sussex STEPS) Chair: Panel of select project presentations & Qs

3.00 Understanding Sustainable Energy Solutions (USES) projects showcase of first findings & Qs (chair tbc)

4.00 tea

Ways Forward
4.15 The Current Funding Landscape and the role of the LCEDN.

4.30 General Discussion: Strategic opportunities, alignments, constraints and directions
Including: future directions of the LCEDN; influencing policy and practice (what? how? why?) LCEDN potential contributions to Climate Change Paris talks (with Tyndall); impact of fossil fuel price drop – risks to renewable markets; best chances for change

5.30 finish

Outputs from the conference:
1. Review and assessment of state of play on UK research on pro-poor renewables
2. Plans for constituting a deliberative forum through the LCEDN to assist new directions for policy and research
3. Working papers, reports, videos demonstrating impacts of research community adding value not just to research community, but making a difference for the poor in the global south by transforming the landscape of their energy livelihoods and empower development priorities in sustainable ways.

Attendance is free, but registration is required: via this link


This is the main admin account for the LCEDN and we use it to manage both the main LCEDN site and the USES network site.

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