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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ES/T006382/1
Title Energy Solidarity in Latin America: generating inclusive knowledge and governance to address energy vulnerability and energy systems resilience
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Energy system analysis) 40%;
Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 15%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 5%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 40%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES 70%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Development Studies) 20%;
AREA STUDIES (American Studies and Anglophone Area Studies) 10%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 45%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 45%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr H Thomson

Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
University of Birmingham
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 April 2020
End Date 30 September 2023
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £1,095,452
Industrial Sectors
Region West Midlands
Programme ESRC - RCUK GCRF - Grants
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr H Thomson , Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham (99.987%)
  Other Investigator Dr RJ Day , Sch of Geography, Earth & Env Sciences, University of Birmingham (0.001%)
Professor Y D T Yanelys Delgado Triana , UNLISTED, UCLV (0.001%)
Dr M A Rubio , UNLISTED, UCLV (0.001%)
Professor V S Oca a Guevara , UNLISTED, University Marta Abreu of Las Villas (0.001%)
Mrs N D Mata Sanchez , Renewable Energy, UTVCO (0.001%)
Professor D Diaz , Humanities and Social Sciences, North University (0.001%)
Professor DA Garcia , Humanities and Social Sciences, North University (0.001%)
Dr M Martinez Fernandez , Institute of Renewable Energy, National Autonomous University of Mexico (0.001%)
Dr K G Cedano Villavicencio , Institute of Renewable Energy, National Autonomous University of Mexico (0.001%)
Professor A Diaz , Centro de Estudios Comunitarios, University Marta Abreu of Las Villas (0.001%)
Dr Y Roque Doval , Centro de Estudios Comunitarios, University Marta Abreu of Las Villas (0.001%)
Dr R Garcia , Urban Studies and Environment, College of the Northern Border El Colef (0.001%)
Dr AV Urquiza , Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Chile (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Twente, The Netherlands (0.000%)
Project Contact , Intl Inst Applied Systems Analysis IIASA (0.000%)
Project Contact , BAORGG (0.000%)
Project Contact , DEBISAMCO Corporation (0.000%)
Project Contact , Ministry of Energy and Mine - Cuba (0.000%)
Project Contact , National University of Colombia (0.000%)
Project Contact , Onergia (0.000%)
Project Contact , Placetas Municipal Assembly Pop Power (0.000%)
Project Contact , Provincial Address Villa Clara (0.000%)
Project Contact , Town Hall San Martin Tilcajete (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives This research has four key objectives, all underpinned by a commitment to co-creating knowledge and solutions to mitigate energy vulnerability (EV), improve energy systems resilience and foster energy solidarity in Cuba, Colombia and Mexico, to promote social welfare, and sustainable development:Speaking to priority areas 1, 3 and 4 of the call (i.e. 'Energy technology interactions...' and 'Effective governance and political economy...'), the first and principal objective of this project (ESLatinA) is to radically transform the extent, depth, and focus of EV knowledge within Latin America. Co-producing holistic and inclusive knowledge, and mechanisms for its generation, is the foundation needed for the recognition of disadvantaged groups, evidence-based policies that foster energy solidarity, and governance that produce just processes and outcomes in energy chains. For this, evidence will be generated in three ways: through analysis of existing secondary data on energy systems, and household energy use; by collecting new inclusive household survey data on a nationally representative-level; and via in-depth community-level participatory workshops. We will increase understanding and self-recognition around energy technologies, services and their use, as well as the differentiated impacts of EV on wellbeing and development opportunities.A second supporting objective is to build capacities at multiple scales within academia, communities, and policy institutions, in order to enhance individual and institutional transformations that reduce inequalities. Formal tools to achieve this will include bespoke Massive Open Online Courses, new university curricula, and capacity-building and training workshops with government officials and communities around understanding and implementing ESLatinA's outputs. Capacity-building and knowledge dissemination will also occur via partnership building and outreach activities, designed to foster solidarity among social actors in the fight against EV. This will include a new pan-Latin American network on energy poverty, community-level exhibits, and the establishment of regional and national-level monitoring observatories. All of the above is intended to build relationships and policy influence among relevant stakeholders (policymakers, community organisations, households, NGOs, researchers, and the private sector), facilitating knowledge exchange, and creating mechanisms for long-term impact.Our third objective is to activate new mechanisms for improving the resilience of energy systems (priority area three). This will be achieved by bringing prevailing energy systems resilience frameworks into conversation with EV via: in-depth technical reviews, national energy system vulnerability mapping and community-level assessments, to advance the state-of-the-art by exploring infrastructural and economic factors while emphasising social dimensions. The work will culminate in new data tools to support decision-makers at both national and local levels in understanding and managing risks associated with energy markets, and infrastructural and social vulnerabilities to phenomena such as hurricanes, migration, and supply shocks.Our fourth and final objective, also addressing priority area four, is to co-create bespoke cutting-edge action plans to address EV. Deriving from our international and national reviews on legal norms for rights to energy and consumer protection, each country will propose innovative legal and regulatory frameworks to bring about sustainable forms of energy access. Building from this benchmarking work, and integrating the knowledge generated across ESLatinA, we will develop bespoke socio-technical EV national and community-level action plans, which address the identified technological and social gaps, and find people-centered energy solutions, focused on building governance and solidarity into ongoing and future investments in sustainable and renewable forms of energy.
Abstract Although Colombia, Cuba and Mexico report nearly 100% access to electricity, not all households are necessarily provided with good quality energy services, such as heating, cooling and use of appliances. In fact, around a third of Mexican households are unable to access an adequate level of energy services. Similarly, annual energy supply interruptions in Colombia add up to 38 hours per year. However, energy services are essential to wellbeing. Indeed, access to adequate, reliable, affordable and clean energy services underpins a range of human capabilities and when unmet, results in a situation of energy vulnerability (EV). A shortfall in realised energy services can be caused by various socio-technical, institutional and environmental factors, including: unreliable or poor quality infrastructure; gendered differences in energy access and use; high energy prices; social isolation; and stressors caused by intensifying climatic changes. The impacts of this are wide ranging, from adverse health, wellbeing, and social participation outcomes, to limited economic development. There are no official EV-related strategies in the three countries, and each one is at a different stage in addressing the issue. In Cuba there has been no research or policy attention to EV; in Mexico, energy poverty is gaining increasing policy attention and a pilot monitoring observatory was launched last year; and Colombia has recognised energy poverty as a policy priority within the National Energy Plan, but has not yet instituted mechanisms for measurement or alleviation. Following collaborative workshops and in-person meetings with stakeholders during Spring 2019, this co-designed project (ESLatinA) responds to the urgent need for comprehensive understanding, evidence and governance capacity on EV in Colombia, Cuba and Mexico, in ways that are inclusive and recognise the diverse and dynamic nature of societies. Furthermore, ESLatinA explicitly acknowledges the link between EV and energy systems resilience, and the transformative potential of fostering energy solidarity, a concept that implies a paradigm shift in energy discourse that demands commitment, shared understanding, and people-focused frameworks. In recognition of the social and technical underpinnings of EV, ESLatinA has brought together a multi-disciplinary team of academics, policymakers and civil society representatives to develop socio-technical solutions via a comprehensive programme of multidisciplinary research and action. Our aim is to bring about systemic change for EV alleviation, whilst simultaneously enhancing energy system resilience, and fostering energy solidarity, as to maximise social welfare and equitable development. This will be achieved through wide ranging research and outputs, including bespoke local and national-level household surveys, generating in-depth qualitative data from participatory workshops, and producing innovative proposals for governance and legal frameworks. We will also establish national monitoring Observatories and a pan-Latin American network, and undertake national-scale energy systems vulnerability mapping and local-level assessment modelling. In culmination, we will produce cross-cutting knowledge based capacity-building and socio-technical solutions, including a diagnosis toolkit, energy literacy workshops, community exhibits, and bespoke National and Local Action Plans; all this from the inclusive perspective of energy solidarity, which is anchored on energy justice
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 25/06/21