Facilitating a Just, Fair, and Affordable Energy Transition in the Asia-Pacific


In developing regions of the Asia-Pacific, many communities have limited access to reliable and affordable electricity – an issue that exacerbates development challenges and hinders the response to Covid-19.

Governments in the region are developing rural electrification plans, including renewable micro-grids, to increase energy access and facilitate the move from fossil fuels. These projects often displace existing energy systems based on diesel generators, thus creating both winners and losers in local and national supply chains, with important implications for a ‘just transition’. Evidence also suggests a lack of local engagement in the current delivery models.

Research approach 

This project, which took place between 2021 and 2022, partnered researchers from the Asia-Pacific region with academics in the United Kingdom, including Dr Donal Brown, Research Fellow in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex.

The aim of the research was to provide recommendations for the design of rural electrification policies. The objective was to identify the barriers and solutions to increasing both the number and long-term sustainability of renewable micro-grids in the region, while also supporting local-community engagement in the energy transition.

Researchers compared the status quo with a range of alternative business models and governance approaches in four case studies, considering which approaches prioritise community engagement and local economic benefits.

Impact and outcomes 

Researchers shared and discussed the findings in a series of workshops with key policy stakeholders.

The research team will also provide recommendations for the design of rural electrification policies with the aim of influencing local practices.

Importantly, the researchers aim to empower communities to take ownership of distributed energy systems, becoming active stakeholders in the transition towards renewable energy.

Further information

The international research team includes:
Dr Donal Brown, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
Dr Nofri Yenita Dhlan, Universiti Teknologi MARA
Dr Clare Richardson-Barlow, University of Leeds
Dr James Van Alstine, University of Leeds

This project is funded by The British Academy, through the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Visit the website to further explore ‘Facilitating a Just, Fair, and Affordable Energy Transition in the Asia-Pacific’.