Regional cooperation in widening energy access and also mitigating climate change: Current programs and future potential
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Access to energy can significantly contribute to the development of the living standards of the energy poor. Also if the provision of access to energy is sustainable, i.e. via renewable energy sources, there is an added benefit of contributing to mitigation of climate change. Currently, the percentage of population with access to energy varies significantly between countries and across regions. This is due to the nature of national socio-economic situations and energy resource availability in differing settings. This article addresses issues and hindrances to energy access in regional contexts and also examines, in particular, the prospects of how regional cooperation initiatives linked with climate change mitigation objectives could assist in widening energy access. Existing relevant regional cooperation initiatives that may be upscaled or used as models to widen access to modern energy services are evaluated. Findings are that regional cooperation initiatives linked with climate change mitigation can potentially facilitate widening energy access. However, in order to realise such potential, synergies from regional cooperation that are indirectly linked to energy and wider climate change mitigation programs should be harnessed. Recommendations are made for development of sustainable energy programs in energy deprived regions that will also mitigate climate change impacts.
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