Seminar Series: Field Research on Energy Access and Mini-Grids in Africa and Central America

Renewable energy mini-grids and Energy Communities play a major role in optimized, long-term energy planning in rural and industrial economies. In low- and middle-income countries, mini-grids may have high potential to provide first-time energy access to remote areas (in service of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7).

The Field Study for Mini-Grid Optimization research group at the Sapienza University of Rome conducts case studies on mini-grid development in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. The research group explores solutions to the challenges of scaling up mini-grids in rural underserved communities. Those challenges include financial constraints, uncertain electricity demand, low levels of local technical capacity, limited community engagement, and a lack of policy and regulatory focus on off-grid electrification.

When: February 10, 2021, 12 PM ET (6 PM CET)

Join this seminar to learn about these case studies and the important areas to be addressed to scale up mini grids such as: in-depth capacity building and community engagement, technical and strategic mini-grid designs and improved national energy policies and regulations.

E4C’s Seminar Series features academic laboratories researching solutions to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The world’s cutting edge research deserves a platform with a global audience. Join us for presentations of new findings from investigative teams around the globe each month. And researchers, we welcome your applications to take part in the series. Please send an email to


Dr. Andrea Micangeli is a assistant professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Rome-Sapienza since 2009 and lecturer since 2001 and adjunct associate professor at the State University of New York Since 2017 and lecturer since 2016. In 30 years of Renewable Energy activities, he realized more than 80 private public programs and involved more than 800 students in Rural Mini Grids in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. In the last 3 years he has been author of about 20 papers autonomously proposed in continuous dialog with international scholars fully dedicated Mini-Grids Optimization and Access to Energy, his research, didactic and development work is based on the “Field Study Abroad” experiences. For RES4Africa Foundation he coordinated 15 sessions of the “Micro Grid Academy” at Strathmore University (Nairobi), University of Zambia, Addis Ababa University. Micangeli is the coordinator of “RenewABLE Against Covid” the program launched by RES4Africa, Electrician without Border, and the Grand Challenges Scholars Program. He is also the currently the European Director of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program issued by the US National Academy of Engineering.


Dr. Jesse Austin-Breneman is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2014 from MIT. He also holds a S.M. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a B.S. in Ocean Engineering also from MIT. Previous to his academic career, he worked as a development engineer in Peru, working with rural communities on alternative business opportunities and with local doctors’ groups on medical device development. He also spent two years as a high school mathematics teacher in Boston, MA. He currently is the director of the Global Design Laboratory. The group focuses on developing design processes and support tools to help multi-disciplinary design teams think at a systems-level when performing complex system design tasks. This includes investigating the best way to incorporate system-level interactions between stakeholders in emerging markets into the design decision-making process.

Comments from the Community

1 Comment

  1. tdsubash2007 says:

    Interested to join the webinar

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