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Webinar 5 | Jul-16 | Governance, Decentralization and Energy: Towards a Research Agenda


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Ed Brown

Addressing Energy Governance: Questions of Scale and Scope

This webinar brings together researchers working on energy governance issues from a range of projects funded under two different DFID initiatives. These initiatives are the EPSRC/DFID/DECC funded Understading Sustainable Energy Solutions (USES) programme whose 13 projects are networked under the USES Network ( and the DFID-funded Gender and Energy research programme which is managed by Energia (

Issues that will be covered in the webinar include: the roles of local government and political decentralization in energy governance; the political economy of energy sector dynamics and decision-making processes; Energy sector reform and fossil-fuel subsidization and the role of cities and municipalities in sustainable energy transitions.

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Webinar 5 | Jul-16 | Governance, Decentralization and Energy: Towards a Research Agenda

  1. 1. Governance, Decentralization and Energy: Towards a Research Agenda Ed Brown (Co-Coordinator, UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network; Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University) 4th InternaHonal Conference on the Developments in Renewable Energy Technology (ICDRET’16), January 7th – 9th 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2. Low Carbon Energy in 2016 Opportuni)es •  COP 21 Commitments •  SE4All Commitments •  Energy in the SDGs •  Donor PrioriHzaHon (DFID) •  Technological Developments •  Business model /social engagement Developments Challenges •  PoliHcal Economy obstacles •  Trade-offs between low carbon transiHons, energy access and energy security •  InsHtuHonal Capacity issues •  DisconnecHon of energy issues from the wider social environment
  3. 3. Tackling the Challenges • UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) • Community building (UK Energy and development research). • MulH-disciplinary. • MulH-sectoral. • InformaHon portal. • Catalysing InternaHonal CollaboraHons. h^p://
  4. 4. Tackling the Challenges •  Understanding Sustainable Energy Solu)ons Programme (EPSRC/DFID/DECC) •  13 projects. •  MulH-country. •  MulH-sectoral. •  MulH-disciplinary. •  Capacity building etc.
  5. 5. Tackling the Challenges •  E.g. Solar Nano-Grids Project (SONG) •  CollaboraHon between Kenya, Bangladesh and the UK. •  MulH-Disciplinary: Engineers, Geographers, Social ScienHsts. •  MulH-Sectoral: UniversiHes, NGOs, Local Government, Social Enterprises
  6. 6. Tackling the Challenges •  USES Network. •  Bringing together the 13 project teams to learn from each other. •  Recently extended funding from DFID to expand this role. •  Key Themes: Research and Impact; Building Sustainability into project Finance; Inves<ng in Rela<onships; Fairness and Capacity in Research. •  DFID InvesHng further into this kind of approach (£60 Million - Transforming Energy Access). •  One parHcular key theme that has emerged out of a lot of this research – Governance, DecentralizaHon and Energy
  7. 7. Governance, Decentralization and Energy: Towards a Research Agenda Ed Brown (Co-Coordinator, UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network; Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University) 4th InternaHonal Conference on the Developments in Renewable Energy Technology (ICDRET’16), January 7th – 9th 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  8. 8. Local Energy Governance: The Global Context 1.  Energy Trilemma – energy access, climate change, energy security – leading to global trends towards energy decentralizaHon 2.  Poli)cal Decentraliza)on - Challenges facing local authoriHes in the context of decentralizaHon – transfer of responsibiliHes, transfer of resources, capacity building, trans-scale coordinaHon.
  9. 9. Local Energy Governance: The Global Context •  Worrying lack of direct a^enHon paid to local governance in most sustainable energy iniHaHves. •  Electricity access: A^enHon focused on expanding na#onal grid provision OR household level off-grid iniHaHves. •  Key debates: Technology, Physical Infrastructure Provision, Business Models – NOT INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY, MULTI-LEVEL PLANNING, WIDER IMPACT ASSESSMENT. •  At the same Hme, lack of a^enHon paid to energy within decentralizaHon strategies and local governments frequently don’t have specific policies/ budgets for addressing energy issues
  10. 10. The READ Project Renewable Energy and Decentraliza<on (Energy Literacy for Decentralized Governance) Short project which ran unHl October 2015 – carrying on some country-specific work in Kenya Project Partners •  PracHcal AcHon East Africa •  GAMOS Ltd •  Loughborough University Funders •  UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council •  UK Department for InternaHonal Development •  UK Department for Energy and Climate Change •  Understanding Sustainable Energy SoluHons Research Programme (2013-2018) – 13 projects
  11. 11. Project Aims •  To assess the roles and responsibiliHes of African local authori#es in relaHon to energy issues. •  To examine how the roles and responsibili#es of local authoriHes in relaHon to energy issues have already been affected by the transfer of powers and budgets under decentraliza#on iniHaHves. •  Underlying all of this is the quesHon of what kind of capacity local authoriHes need in order to play the poten#ally crucial role of integra#ng clean energy transi#ons into local development planning and how those capaciHes are being enhanced •  Two specific country case studies: Rwanda and Kenya
  12. 12. Decentralization and Energy •  A 2009 UNDP Study is the only significant study connecHng the two areas. •  This explored decentraliza#on policy in over 60 countries and found explicit menHon of energy issues in only 4 cases. •  Our analysis has found very li^le further work in this area since their study was published. •  But local governance of energy is clearly important and local authori#es clearly do have important roles in rela#on to energy across the globe.
  13. 13. 1. A Direct Role in Electricity Generation/Supply? •  Local government played a major role in the development of the electricity infrastructure in many Northern countries. •  In the UK local government agencies supplied about one third and two thirds respecHvely of gas and electricity consumpHon in 1945 prior to naHonalizaHon (Byrne, 2000:22) •  In the US, municipal and state provision (and cooperaHve provision in rural areas) was the rule rather than the excepHon for much of the twenHeth century.
  14. 14. 1. A Direct Role in Electricity Generation/Supply? •  Not just a Northern phenomenon + not just historical. •  Several examples of electrificaHon schemes (grid + off-grid) where local authoriHes have played a major role. •  E.g. State-level responsibility for implemenHng naHonal electrificaHon policy in South African - linked to integrated regional development plans. •  Plus Municipali)es have responsibility for implemenHng Free Basic AlternaHve Energy Policy. •  There are also other examples •  Significant debates over their record.
  15. 15. 1. A Direct Role in Electricity Generation/Supply? •  Most successful local government experiences in electrifica)on involve a facilita)on role (rather than direct provision)….. •  Success seems to depend upon: •  Sufficient local/regional control of budgets; •  Capacity Building for local insHtuHons; •  MulH-level collaboraHons with clearly defined roles…...
  16. 16. Nepal •  Successful Role of local insHtuHons within micro-hydro iniHaHves. •  Original UNDP funded project – •  Responsibility to manage and deliver energy services decentralised to communiHes under oversight of local authoriHes + village/district development commi^ees with well defined roles (UNDP 2007a, EC 2007) •  Long-term capacity building underlay the successful outcomes of this iniHaHve (large porHon of overall project costs went in capacity building of local and district commi^ees etc.)
  17. 17. Chile •  Private sector approach to rural electrificaHon but strong state coordinaHon at naHonal and regional levels. •  1992: About half of the rural populaHon had no access to electricity. By 1999 this had fallen to 24% (Jadresic, 2000). •  The state provided a one-off subsidy to parHally cover investment costs of new rural electricity ventures. •  Programme run by regional governments who allocated funds compeHHvely (according to level of investment, projected social impacts etc.) •  Regional governments receive funding on the basis of progress made the preceding year and number of households sHll lacking electricity.
  18. 18. 2. Individual Initiative •  The previous examples are drawn from naHonal programmes administered locally, •  Some municipaliHes/ regional authoriHes have taken the iniHaHve and set up their own iniHaHves. •  In the North, there is a growing movement for local governments to take a leadership role in promoHng transformaHve acHon on decentralised energy (e.g. Germany, UK)
  19. 19. 2. Individual Initiative •  But its not just important in Europe - Other examples of local energy programmes run by or supported via individual local governments in the Global South. •  E.g. Waste to energy projects or schemes linked to other local authority services (health, educaHon etc.) Biomasa Investment Nicaragua SA (Binicsa), is processing waste to generate clean energy in ten Nicaraguan ciHes. The company will also support local governments in improving their waste disposal systems and the selecHon of waste.
  20. 20. 3. Other Important Roles for Local Authorities •  Not all local authoriHes have the capacity (or the resources) to develop their own generaHon projects. •  But there are plenty of examples of other acHons that individual local authoriHes have engaged in which have made a difference to local energy governance. •  Audit of energy provision and energy needs •  Social Consulta)on: Not just ascertaining the types of needs that communiHes and local businesses express in relaHon to energy but also how they rank those needs against other necessiHes and desires (e.g. Central African Republic/Nicaragua) •  The best of these consultaHon processes can feed into improving overall naHonal energy policy management, the targeHng of parHcular schemes or idenHficaHon of capacity building needs
  21. 21. Other Important Roles for Local Authorities •  Ensuring that NGO/private sector energy iniHaHves are connected adequately into local and regional development strategies and local programmes in water, educaHon, health etc.. •  Provision of informa)on and training about energy issues (for example about specific technologies, how to use energy for livelihood enhancement, contacts for companies operaHng in parHcular fields, funding possibiliHes etc.). •  A ‘demonstrator role’ in promoHng new technologies or approaches in the delivery of services to local ciHzens (e.g. energy efficiency measures free up funds for other uses) •  E.g. the use of clean energy technologies in powering municipal buildings.
  22. 22. Purported Advantages of Political Decentralization for Energy Access/Low Carbon Transitions •  Coordina)on of energy services with other service provision infrastructures (health, educaHon, economic development, agricultural extension services). •  Coordina)on of the wide variety of actors involved in the energy sector and more effecHve targeHng of naHonal energy policy and provision of support services and networking opportuniHes. •  PoliHcal decentralizaHon should encourage local people to play a more acHve role in ar)cula)ng local solu)ons to the challenges which they face including energy (closer to where decision-making takes place) – assumes decentralizaHon implies encouragement of consultaHon/parHcipaHon
  23. 23. Purported Advantages of Political Decentralization for Energy Access/Low Carbon Transitions •  But so much depends upon naHonal/local context of each situaHon – capacity, transparency, legiHmacy, resourcing, legislaHve authority. •  The inter-rela)onships between different branches of territorial government and other actors (and between different scales of government are crucial •  “the sharing of power between numerous scales of governance must be seamlessly mangled, resul<ng in a “polycentricity” or “nestedness” that involves mul<ple authori<es and overlapping jurisdic<ons” (Sovacool, 2011:3833) Source: Ed Araral and Kris Hartley (2015) Polycentric Governance for a new environmental regime hTp:// panel_46_s1_araral_hartley.pdf
  24. 24. Governance, Decentralization and Energy: Two Case Studies: Rwanda and Kenya
  25. 25. Rwandan Decentralization •  “Since Rwanda embarked on a decentraliza<on process in 2000, it has made tremendous progress. It has completely redesigned local administra<on, se[ng up strong local planning and monitoring mechanisms. Local governments are today the main implementers of na<onal policies, execu<ng more than 25% of the domes<c budget in 2011–12 and employing 50% of the Rwandan administra<on” (Chemouni, 2014: 246). •  There is clear evidence of tangible decentralisa)on of roles, budgets and responsibili)es to local administraHve enHHes (Districts, sectors, cells and villages). •  Interpreta)ons? Efficient, co-ordinated and effecHve service delivery; Increased ciHzen parHcipaHon in development and system accountability OR technocraHc form of ensuring rapid delivery of centralised decision- making?
  26. 26. The Rwandan Context: Energy •  AmbiHous targets. The plan is to increase electricity access from 18% to 70% by the end of June 2017 (Rwanda Energy Sector Strategic Plan 2013-2018). •  52% of the enhanced access planned will be off grid. •  Similar targets for ICS usage, biogas installaHons etc. All agreed and targeted down to local levels. Different Roles: •  Central government (Ministries, Public agencies): sets policy, strategy, standards and regulatory and legal ma^ers related to energy. •  Decentralised En))es: Plan/set energy prioriHes (e.g. electrificaHon, uptake of ICS) in annual district development plans (linked to naHonal goals + prioriHes), monitored through performance contracts. Sector plans similarly aligned to District plans + prioriHes.
  27. 27. More Detail on the Role of the Decentralized Entities •  Responsible for approvals to private companies, NGOs and others operaHng in energy within Districts and Sectors (No organizaHon can operate without these permissions). •  Work with EWSA (Energy, Water and SanitaHon Authority) to idenHfy those eligible + distribute biogas subsidies. •  Assist ICS producers self-organise into cooperaHves •  Undertake public sensi)za)on and mobiliza)on with regard to renewable energy projects including biogas, solar, ICS etc. •  Responsible for the security of energy infrastructure •  Mobilise resources and budgeHng for energy projects •  Support MININFRA and EWSA Ltd in maintaining a data base of all energy installa)ons to aid naHonal planning. •  Each District/Sector has a JADF – a Consulta)ve Forum of stakeholders that discusses and implements development plans.
  28. 28. Issues identiSied during the Kigali Workshop •  Strengths: CoordinaHon, TargeHng •  There are mulHple prioriHes but insufficient funding - energy oren the poor relaHon (targets frequently not met) •  Limited local-level technical capacity. Relates to both (a) the capacity of local government staff/ decision-makers and (b) capacity in installaHon and maintenance at local levels (retenHon issues). •  Government insHtuHons see their role as awareness raising (changing behaviours, spreading knowledge) but they also need to learn. •  Need for creaHon of more public pla[orms to discuss coordinaHon of energy actors and addressing energy concerns of local communiHes (e.g. energy-specific JADF)
  29. 29. Issues identiSied during the Kigali Workshop •  The need for the right ins)tu)onal framework with clear roles and responsibiliHes (not always clear and someHmes overly bureaucraHc) •  Districts and sectors also have human resource challenges, with a single officer frequently being responsible for 3-4 large porsolios. At a district level, energy falls under the officer for Infrastructure, Environment and Land use. •  Lack of purchasing power of target populaHons. •  Limited level of private sector development (both in terms of innovaHve financial products and energy sector) – local government perhaps doesn’t play as strong a role as it could here in facilita)ng enterprise development.
  30. 30. Kenyan Decentralization •  New Kenyan Cons)tu)on in 2010 – new strong county governments. •  Complex poliHcal process – inter- relaHonships sHll unclear - at Hmes, overlapping mandates. •  New Energy Bill – devolves certain powers related to energy to the county level (poliHcal deadlock). •  New Rural ElectrificaHon and Renewable Energy Authority REREA proposed with a focus on supporHng county governments in electrificaHon. •  Each County Government is required to develop County Energy plans. •  Royal)es for energy resources extracted from counHes to be shared between NaHonal and County Governments & CommuniHes. IntroducHon of an EqualizaHon Fund to support electrificaHon in marginalized areas.
  31. 31. The Kenyan Context: Decentralised Energy Targets •  Lots of NaHonal level targets but somewhat unclear where responsibility for meeHng these lies (NaHonal Energy Bill) •  GoK would like to facilitate addiHonal solar homes systems. 100,000 new systems by 2020, 200,000 by 2025 and 300,000 by 2030. •  Some Mini-Grid and Nano-Grid development but developers waiHng on appropriate regulatory framework. •  NaHonal Grid extension announced (Last Half Mile scheme) not well coordinated with exisHng decentralised actors •  GOK is working with CSOs and GACC to improve uptake of Improved Cookstoves through the KCAP is which aims to catalyse adopHon of ICS by over 7 million households by 202 •  Within the same Hmeframes as the SHS installaHons, the government intends to facilitate installaHon of an addiHonal 5,000, 6,500 and 10,000 biogas digesters respecHvely.
  32. 32. Issues identiSied from a Workshop in Nakuru •  Energy is yet to receive prominence on the county agenda. The County ministry is tasked with a wide range of responsibiliHes - Environment, Natural Resources, Energy and Water (MENREW) •  People’s energy needs: The challenge in decentralizaHon is to think about the different energy needs of people at the local level, e.g. household and insHtuHonal cooking and lighHng needs, and not only large scale electricity generaHon programmes and projects •  Clear benefits for county government from the development of geothermal resources are yet to be seen
  33. 33. Issues identiSied from the Nakuru Workshop •  The Nakuru county government is already invesHng in biogas and there has been some support for briquevng. Solid waste offers a good opportunity for energy producHon and there are a number of producers. •  Various stakeholders undertaking decentralised energy acHviHes - need to talk and learn from each other (no current forum to do this) •  A lot of awareness crea)on on clean energy is needed in both the county government and among county residents
  34. 34. Issues identiSied by other counties •  Combined mandates in county ministries . •  Need for agreement on how royal)es will be shared locally •  Concerns over communica)on between County & NaHonal Government for Hmely decision making; localisaHon of the REREA •  Inadequate budgets and local capacity of county execuHves/staff to implement decentralised energy projects •  Abundant renewable energy resources; limited capacity to develop them •  Concerns over obtaining guarantees from NaHonal Government for county level energy private sector investment •  Need for recogniHon of the role of SME’s in the energy sector. (SMEs assessments needed at the county level ) •  Debate over the uHlisaHon of the proposed Equalisa)on fund •  Need for support in par)cipatory county energy planning •  Decision making mandates/processes MCAs & Governor •  Channelling of revenue from energy projects
  35. 35. Opportunities •  Willingness by NaHonal and County Governments to engage with and support county and na)onal level capacity building in decentralised energy (already strong programmes in other resource areas – e.g. sanitaHon and waste) •  Existence of a strong CSO, Research, Training and Private Sector & Financing fraternity working on decentralised energy access issues in the country •  Exis)ng pla[orms for informaHon exchange, lobbying and capacity building of decentralised energy iniHaHves in Kenya e.g. CCAK, KEREA •  A donor community convinced of the importance of improving local energy governance. •  RecogniHon of importance in SE4All Strategy Planning DocumentaHon
  36. 36. Future READ roles in Kenya? •  Building cross-sectoral partnerships for joined up work •  Inter-county informa)on exchange: The county can benefit greatly from informaHon on how other counHes are managing the energy projects (inter-county collaboraHon on energy) and be^er understanding of the regulatory environment •  County Energy Colloquiums. •  Connec)on to exisHng plasorms •  Technical capacity building in county governments on decentralised energy •  Capacity building in par)cipatory energy planning •  IdenHficaHon of resources for implementaHon
  37. 37. Raising the ProSile of Local Energy Governance (GLOBAL)? “(e)nhancing energy service delivery at the local level will require beTer coordina<on and accountability mechanisms between na<onal and local ins<tu<ons, and across sectors, as well as empowerment of local authori<es to plan and manage energy” (UNDP, 2009:7). How do we help make this happen? •  Build up a repository of knowledge on local governance roles in successful low carbon transiHons and access iniHaHves (and evidence on successful polycentric iniHaHves) •  Raise the profile of local authority capacity building amongst those funding energy iniHaHves (eg across SE4ALL Country AcHon Plans) •  Raise profile on energy amongst those planning decentralizaHon iniHaHves. •  Build networking iniHaHves amongst local authoriHes (e.g. energy ciHes, ICLEI, twinning etc.)
  38. 38. Thank you for listening!