Author:Ben Campbell (Durham University)
Paper short abstract:
Peri-urban areas of capital cities in the Global South are increasingly peopled by migrants from environmental disaster, conflict and deepening rural poverty. How can anthropological understandings of energy practices among these groups help inform ambitions to provide 'sustainable energy for all'?
Paper long abstract:
'Energy on the Move' is a project examining the energy practices of very poor women, men and young people living in informal peri-urban settlements in Nigeria, South Sudan, Nepal and Bangladesh. It asks how people's energy practices are changing, and uses comparative lessons across the study countries. The research has explored the energy practices of those who have experienced displacement as a result of environmental disasters, climate change, or political conflict, and have moved into peri-urban locations. These groups' energy requirements continue to be (poorly) met by biomass. The study's novel purpose is to understand the range of means by which the poor access energy for light, heat and cooking services, and how these may have changed over time. The project questions the assumption among energy transition theorists that improved technologies at affordable prices will bring clean energy options to the poor and marginalised. This paper is the first presentation of findings about how modern technologies and biomass fuels move among users through channels of gift, obligations to extended kin, within patronage of community leaders, and other networks of assistance.
Energy in motion [Energy Anthropology Network]