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4TU Alliance on Energy Access

The four technical universities of the Netherlands all have researchers working on the energy access goals of the first target of SDG7: By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.

Despite significant progress towards SDG7 over the past decade, over 700 million people lack access to electricity and nearly 2.5 billion people do not have access to clean cooking. Moreover, based on current trend, nearly 10 percent of the world population will lack access to electricity access and nearly 30 percent to clean cooking by 2030.[i] [ii][iii]This is pertinent to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

Among the key issues involved is a fragmented approach to addressing energy access where learnings from technological advancements, user-centric design, sustainable business models, and policy innovations are not shared nor combined in a holistic manner. Although academia can play a key role here, energy access topics in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) contexts are relatively underrepresented at each of the universities and in academia in general. We believe that joining forces at the four technical universities each with its own unique strengths will bring research and education pertaining to low resources settings to a next level.

We therefore build a 4TU Alliance on Energy Access in LMICs as a platform for researchers to join forces and share insights, their findings and streamline the research capacity for SDG7 and to connect with the Dutch energy access sector. This aims at supporting and coordinating research and educational activities with impact on one hand and have strong collaboration with the Dutch energy access sector on the other, creating a two-way feedback loop.  

Read the latest news article about 4TU Alliance on Energy Access here.

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The universities’ profiles in Energy Access

Technical University of Delft

The TU Delft values research and education related to LIMCs and supports this ambition mainly through the TU Delft | Global Initiative in its Energy Access for All program. TU Delft has a variety of researchers working on the Energy Access theme in topics ranging from the WEF-nexus to off-grid systems, to public policy analysis and context-specific design methodologies.

Core Team Member:

Nihit Goyal, Luis Cutz, Kenneth Bruninx

University of Twente

The University of Twente (UT) has a specialized group in energy access that takes a transdisciplinary approach. In the field of electrical engineering, which encompasses electromagnetic compatibility and power electronics, the primary goal is to improve power quality to better serve the users. In the area of technology management, UT works on co-creation processes for innovations in the decentralized renewable energy field. UT researchers also work on philosophical and sociological frameworks to analyse the social impacts of energy access technologies.

Core Team Member:

Jelena Popovic, Niek Moonen, Amalia Suryani, Maarten Appelman, Ilman Sulaeman

Wageningen University & Research

The wide range of energy access themes at Wageningen University range from energy sovereignty, energy democracy and just energy transition, typically in relation to some of WUR’s key themes of climate change, biodiversity and food. Researchers and teachers working on energy access closely connect with the WUR Energy Alliance, which is a bottom-up university-wide network of researchers and teachers working on three key pillars: social, spatial and technological aspects.

Core Team Member:

Nowella Anyango-van Zwieten

Technical University of Eindhoven

The Technical University of Eindhoven works on energy access topics mainly in the department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) and to some extent in Electrical Engineering (EE). The scientific staff in IE&IS works on topics that cover the assessment of functionality and sustainability of off-grid systems investigated from a holistic socio-technical systems perspective. Energy economics and circularity are important focus areas in their work. The IE&IS activities distinguish themselves by their strong focus on the historical context and engagement with critical development studies, connecting access-to-energy topics to the decolonization agenda. The Electrical Energy Systems group in EE facilitates student and PhD projects on design and configuration of mini grids powered by renewable energy sources.

Core Team Member:

Henny Romijn, Jonas van der Staeten, Diego Quan Reyes

Coordinator: Sha Lou (