IREK research contributes to answering two groups of questions about renewable electrification with the aim to inform policies that lead to employment opportunities, income generation and household access to electricity. The first set of research questions are related to the role of global technology collaboration, while the second set of research questions are related to the role of local policies and institutions.
The IREK project studies two specific low-carbon technologies – solar photovoltaic and wind power. Although electrification with green energy is not a new phenomenon, the scale and speed of current and forecasted growth in renewables is unprecedented. The project seeks to highlight how solar and wind technologies can be more effectively introduced to and help enhance production and innovation capabilities that can reduce energy poverty in Kenya while also creating domestic jobs and business activity. The project has a special focus on applications in the form of small scale energy production with special relevance for rural access to electricity.
Project design and methods
The IREK project brings together two research fields, development studies and innovation studies, to address the problem of access to sustainable energy. The project combines quantitative analysis, including the use of survey data, with qualitative analysis and case studies. Interactive learning with policy makers and other stakeholders is an integral part of the project design.