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Title: Energy 'access' for sustainable development : enabling modern energy practices in rural communities
Author: Cameron, Lewis J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 2017
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Modern energy services are a foundation for sustainable development. As recently acknowledged by the multilaterally supported UNDP’s ‘energy access for all’ objective, it is a missing cog for the socio-economic, empowerment, livelihood enhancement and sustainability of more than 2 billion people in developing and less developed countries. Efforts to provide modern energy services, however, face pervasive challenges reflective of wider development efforts, establishing the imperative for greater understanding of their underlying dimensions as a basis for enhancing sustainable development pathways. The thesis pursues this through ethnographic studies of innovative and contrasting energy access pathways in remote areas of Nepal. These were supported by preliminary site visits, semi-structured interviews, participant observation and observant participation with a range of key development actors, led by a reflexive, multi-sited research approach. The research reveals that the challenges and opportunities of effective energy access and sustainable development are embedded in under-recognised social routines and contexts that subsume essential dimensions of daily life. These are dynamic, multi-actor and interconnected through routinised codes, performances and institutions for which social emotions, meanings and relations are integral. Interventions, technologies and impacts interdepend on these mundane interactions and structures, signifying the vital role of social agency and conventions in everyday life. ‘Access’ is a constant (re)negotiation of these within a socio-technical context. The findings demonstrate the value of integrating these dimensions into development approaches through being attentive to, and co-produced by, the plurality of actors, settings and routines. A practice theory informed approach supported the analysis to signify further distinctive policy, research and pathway implications. The thesis thus demonstrates the potential of a social practice approach for enabling a more sensitive and effective framework for enabling energy access for sustainable development.
Supervisor: Watson, Matt Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available