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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Integrated Low Carbon Energy Solutions for Remote Rural Areas (ILCERRA)

On 1st-3rd February, 18 delegates from countries of low and middle income converged in Leeds to participate to the workshop held at Devonshire Hall on Integrated Low Carbon Energy Solutions for Remote Rural Areas (ILCERRA). They were hosted by about the same number of academic staff from Leeds with expertise in all aspects of sustainable energy, mainly from our Low Carbon Energy Research group (SCAPE), but also from Civil Engineering, Geography, Earth and Environment, and Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Overseas delegates from Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Mexico and Colombia, many of whom were University of Leeds alumni, and who are now active researchers in clean energy in their respective countries, explained to the combined audience which challenges their rural areas faced in meeting their heating, electricity and mobility demands with sustainable approaches.

Issues related to poor indoor air quality from cooking with solid fuels such as wood and charcoal (e.g. leading to deforestation in Savannah areas), or agricultural wastes, and outdoor air pollution from off-grid diesel generators and waste disposal by burning, as well as basic lack of access to electricity featured prominently. Most important of all was the message that solutions needed to be tailored to specific needs, with real dialogue with the beneficiaries and the local civic authorities to achieve durable impact, with amazing examples of good practice presented by the delegates. The workshop was successful in laying the foundations for future collaborations and was funded with an EPSRC pump priming GCRF grant (Global Challenges Research Fund grant EP/P51097X/1), awarded to principal investigator Dr Valerie Dupont and the large team of co-investigators.

ILCERRA workshop group at Weetwood Hall