Technology Needs Assessment
Technology Needs Assessments (TNAs) are a set of country-driven activities that identify and determine the mitigation and adaptation technology priorities of countries. TNAs are central to the work of Parties to the Convention (art. 4.5 UNFCCC). They present a unique opportunity for countries to track their needs for new equipment, techniques, services, capacities and skills necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

UN Environment and UDP, on behalf of the GEF, is completing phase II of TNA in 25 countries, starting in 2015, following on from the 36 countries involved in phase I, with objectives that go beyond identifying technology needs narrowly. In particular, the TNAs lead to the development of national Technology Action Plans (TAPs) that prioritize technologies, recommend enabling frameworks for the diffusion of these technologies and facilitate identification of good technology transfer projects and their links to relevant financing sources. The TAPs systematically address practical actions necessary to reduce or remove policy, finance and technology related barriers. As a spin-off from the TNA work, the CED group is involved in designing and implementing country response plans for the CTCN where UDP is a consortium member.


Mobilising low emission transport for achieving SDGs
Increasing levels of air pollution in developing country cities are causing concern for policy makers and other stakeholders. The 100 most polluted cities are all in the developing world, with 97% of these in Asia. Urban air pollution is related to a number of factors, a main source being transport. The adverse effects of air pollution on human health and the economy are well known and therefore, to minimize the impact of transport on the environment, policy makers are considering several options. Besides air pollution, cities in developing world also face challenges in improving access to transport, improving safety and reducing CO2 emissions.

Promoting Low-carbon Transport in India

This project has contributed to the efforts of the Indian Government in realizing a low-carbon transport system. India is currently the fourth largest GHG emitter in the world, with its transport sector being the second largest contributor of CO2 emissions. The project recognized the need to reduce transport emissions through adoption of a sustainability approach.  The outputs of the project include roadmaps developed with local stakeholders, Low-Carbon Mobility Plans for three cities, and a Network for Information Sharing and Co-ordination through the Project website. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of Germany and implemented by UN Environment (UNEP) through UNEP DTU Partnership.


Study of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have been registering a rapid growth in a number of countries. The global electric 4 wheeler population crossed 2 million according to an IEA report and for electric 2 wheelers China has emerged as a big market. Railways have also been shifting to electrified engines to improve efficiency and speed of transportation. Electric mobility is seen by many developing countries as a way of reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and at the same time reducing local pollution and CO2 emissions. UNEP DTU has been exploring the topic of electric mobility and involved in analysis of future scenarios of electric mobility and the barriers faced by electric vehicles.


Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) collaboration for climate change mitigation
CED is involved in two EU-funded collaborative projects that are broadly concerned with the role and importance of collaborative STI, as a means to enable and accelerate climate change mitigation. One of these projects is CARISMA, which promotes research and innovation efficiency as well as international cooperation on research and innovation and technology transfer, where CED is responsible for analysing the connection to markets and policy making in developing countries. The other project is CAAST Net Plus, a 25-member consortium of African and European governments and research organisations, where CED contributes to the work package on climate change. More specifically we investigate the nature and effectiveness of Africa-EU research collaborations, design and implement training for African early-career academics and make recommendations to governments on how to reform and/or optimise the ‘framework conditions’ for STI collaboration. This includes securing greater input from, and to, the private sector in both Africa and Europe, including with regard to the development of low-carbon energy technologies.

Development of technology specific methodologies for tech transfer within solar PV
A research project evaluating the enabling framework conditions for the diffusion of small and large scale solar PV in Africa, and for upgrading in national value chains in terms of local assembly of PV panels in SSA countries. The research is based on literature reviews, cases from the TNA project and fieldwork in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Senegal.

Evaluability of large-scale grid-connected renewable power projects
In early 2017, staff at CED led a small consortium with the Stockholm Environment Institute (Kenya) and Synergy Global Consulting (South Africa) to conduct an 'evaluability' of the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) Project in Kenya for the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). This work described and analysed the extent to which, and how, it is possible to evaluate various aspects of the project, which is the largest of its kind in Africa, once it is fully operational.

Assessing energy use in refugee camps
Across the world, the UNHCR and its host countries are struggling to accommodate growing numbers of refugees. Refugees, especially in Africa, are using traditional woodfuel resources for cooking and heating, leading to unsustainable deforestation and a range of risks to human life and health, including indoor air pollution, conflict with local communities and violent crimes committed against the refugee women and children who walk to harvest woodfuel.

Since 2016, staff at the CED group has been working in partnership with UNHCR to conduct applied research into the non-financial costs of this traditional energy use in western Tanzania, to strengthen the case for diverting existing resources towards the financing of simple, known, tried-and-tested technical solutions to this problem, e.g. the roll-out of cleaner energy technologies at the household level. This work will also be used to raise awareness of the dollar-value of these environmental and social ‘externalities’, to secure additional funding for the widespread roll-out of cleaner and safer energy technologies in other refugee camps.

PhD projects

Histories, Policies and Practices: A Critical Investigation into Solar PV Energy in East Africa
Lakshmi Bhamidipati (2016-2019). Main supervisor: James Haselip. Co-supervisor: Ulrich Hansen
This research project focuses on the overall topic of low-carbon energy innovation in developing countries with a specific focus on the role and influence of Government, the private sector and donor agencies. The broad aim is to provide an improved understanding of the interface between the State, markets and donors as they relate to the development and uptake of low-carbon energy technologies.


Rural electrification through solar powered mini-grids: a study of private sector models in Kenya
Mathilde Brix Pedersen (2012-2016). Main supervisor: Ivan Nygaard. Co-supervisor: Walter Wehrmeyer
In responding to a need for empirical‐based research on private business models for rural electrification, this PhD research addresses the challenges of diffusion of solar powered mini‐grids in Kenya at two different analytical levels; 1) at the company level, the manifestation and consequences of organisational hybridity are elaborated and explained thought the lens of institutional logics 2) at the society social level, niche development processes are explored in order to gain insights into the wider framework conditions for niche development for private sector mini‐grids as well as to understand the role of networks and learning and the processes through which private companies acts as niche builders. 


Recent activities

Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD) 

The Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD), was a South-South knowledge network facilitated by UN Environment from 2003 to 2015, which worked to promote energy access in developing countries and to establish synergistic opportunities between energy access and development. GNESD was established as a type II intervention from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), with its Secretariat hosted at the UNEP DTU Partnership. The Network’s objective was to promote energy access in developing countries and it did this by undertaking scientific research and providing practical policies that help governments and intergovernmental organizations to further mutually inclusive energy access and development activities. Though GNESD was global, the activities focussed on developing country issues, with its 10 member partners covering three continents (Africa, Asia and South America), operating locally at national and regional levels.

African Rural Energy Enterprise Development (AREED)

UN Environment's African Rural Energy Enterprise Development (AREED) programme was an initiative to support the development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Africa that specifically targeted access to clean energy. The first phase of AREED (2000 – 2008), in partnership between UN Environment, UDP, E&Co, the UN Foundation and five African Centres (in Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia) provided enterprise development services and financing to a variety of enterprises involved in the delivery of clean energy. The process is documented in the AREED I terminal report. A subsequent second phase, AREED II, funded by Sida (the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency) and completed in 2012, extended the approach to energy end-use and micro-finance institutes, following the recommendations of the AREED I terminal report. See the AREED II terminal report.

In 2012 CED carried out a study into the outcomes, barriers and prospects for energy SMEs in four of the AREED countries (Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia), and in close collaboration with the respective AREED Centres (KITE, ENDA, TaTEDO and CEEEZ). The study found that, while a number of successful energy SMEs had been established and continued to operate, some of the basic conditions that hinder enterprise development, especially the difficulty of obtaining affordable finance, remain. See the report 'Energy SMEs in sub- Saharan Africa' 

As a final activity of AREED, loan funds that were repaid by successful enterprises in the first phase, are now being channelled back into supporting social energy enterprises in the five target countries. Business plans for these enterprises have been developed in collaboration between the five AREED Centres and local actors, and the seed funding is being disbursed to the approved enterprises in the first half of 2018.


Feasibility of Renewable Energy Resources in Mali

The objective of this project was to provide basic planning information for enhanced use of sustainable energy in Mali. The collected information included detailed assessment of resources of wind, solar and agricultural residues, and assessments of economic, environmental and social impacts of selected applications of wind, solar, biomass and biofuel technologies. The project ran from 2009-2012, with key outputs published in the journal ‘Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews’ in early 2016.


For further information, please contact Programme Head: Gordon 
17 FEBRUARY 2019