Energy Access and Requirements of Rural Communities

Understanding the problem is the first step toward providing energy access to the world’s energy-poor communities. Energy poverty, or the lack of access to modern fuels, stifles human development. It disproportionately afflicts those living in rural Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Any intervention aimed at reducing energy poverty should be thoughtfully constructed with the energy needs, resources and realities of the target communities in mind.

To provide that context, this webinar describes the state of energy access in rural communities in developing countries. Participants will discover the linkage between energy consumption and development and see historical trends of energy use worldwide. Special focus is given to the role of off-grid electrical systems in reducing energy poverty.

Join this webinar to learn:

  • Overviews of the energy needs of rural communities
  • Foundational concepts such as “fuel stacking,” “the energy ladder,” and how electricity access is quantified
  • Characteristics of different fuels (e.g. fuel wood, charcoal, kerosene, etc.)
  • Methods for providing electricity access in off-grid communities


Dr. Henry Louie is an Associate Professor and Fr. Francis Wood Endowed Research Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seattle University. His research areas include electricity access in developing communities, renewable energy and appropriate technology. He is the President and Co-founder of KiloWatts for Humanity, a non-profit organization providing electricity access and business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Louie served as a Fulbright Scholar to Copperbelt University in Kitwe, Zambia. He is recognized as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE and is an Associate Editor of the journal Energy for Sustainable Development. He is the author of the book Off-Grid Electrical Systems in Developing Countries, published by SpringerNature.

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