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Resources 2017, 6(3), 24; doi:10.3390/resources6030024

Assessment of the Successes and Failures of Decentralized Energy Solutions and Implications for the Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus: Case Studies from Developing Countries

1
Center for Environment and Development, College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa P.O.BOX 1176, Ethiopia
2
Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Bonn 53113, Germany
3
Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Ministry of Population and Environment, Khumaltar, Lalitpur G.P.O. Box: 14364 Kathmandu, Nepal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Integrated Water-Energy-Land-Food Management)
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Abstract

Access to reliable and affordable energy is vital for sustainable development. In the off-grid areas of developing countries, decentralized energy solutions have received increasing attention due to their contributions to reducing poverty. However, most of the rural population in many developing countries still has little or no access to modern energy technologies. This paper assesses the factors that determine the successes and failures of decentralized energy solutions based on local harmonized case studies from heterogeneous contexts from Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and South America. The case studies were analyzed through the coupled lenses of energy transition and the Water–Energy–Food Security (WEF) Nexus. The findings indicate that access to modern decentralized energy solutions has not resulted in complete energy transitions due to various tradeoffs with the other domains of the WEF Nexus. On the other hand, the case studies point at the potential for improvements in food security, incomes, health, the empowerment of women, and resource conservation when synergies between decentralized energy solutions and other components of the WEF Nexus are present. View Full-Text
Keywords: decentralized energy; Water-Energy-Food Security (WEF) Nexus decentralized energy; Water-Energy-Food Security (WEF) Nexus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guta, D.D.; Jara, J.; Adhikari, N.P.; Chen, Q.; Gaur, V.; Mirzabaev, A. Assessment of the Successes and Failures of Decentralized Energy Solutions and Implications for the Water–Energy–Food Security Nexus: Case Studies from Developing Countries. Resources 2017, 6, 24.

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