Research Associate for Community Energy Systems - 12month full-time
The overall focus for this role will be on community energy systems (CES) and resilience in the Global South. The Research Associate will work across two projects (60/40 time split) – the CESET project and Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme.
Project 1 (60%) CESET is a three-year research project exploring how communities can support just energy transitions in East Africa funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund. The project focuses on diversity: diversity of models of community energy and diversity of communities that engage in renewable energy projects. We believe that the strength of community energy lies in such diversity and adaptability. Diversity and adaptability are precisely what is needed to support the deployment of off grid energy technologies (solar, wind, hydro, biogas) in a variety of social and geographical contexts. The project focuses on Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique, three countries which face enormous energy challenges with very diverse contexts.
The Research Associate will work on Work Package 3 of CESET, which focuses on the landscape of CES in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique. The work package will deliver a programme of multi-scalar research to evaluate the different ways in which CES projects contribute to building resilience. The work will help unpack the concepts of fit, community, and transition in relation to questions of resilience in the context of off-grid development. Project partners for Work Package 3 include Mzuzu University (Malawi), University Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), Mekelle University (Ethiopia) and University of Oxford (UK). Loughborough University’s contribution will focus on comparisons between different contexts, identifying best practices for community energy and resilience aspects.
Project 2 (40%) MECS is a 5-year programme funded by UKAid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Department Office, led by Loughborough University. We already know that increasing access through renewable energy generation is becoming more affordable and opening new windows of opportunity. New business models and smart monitoring are improving the reliability of LPG distribution, appliances can be made more energy efficient but still cook favourite foods so they taste right, and cooking with electricity is becoming increasingly affordable with issues of reliability and sustainability being overcome. The Research Associate will work in collaboration with other MECS researchers to build on these opportunities and the new knowledge emerging from
community energy and sustainable energy transitions to break out of business-as-usual approaches and rapidly accelerate the transition from biomass to clean cooking on a global scale. The post-holder will work in close collaboration with the CESET and MECS Co-I Dr Long Seng To.
Informal enquiries should be made by email to Dr Long Seng To: L.To@lboro.ac.uk. Closing date Sunday 4 September 2022.