Productive uses of energy for resilient livelihoods in LDCs

Think tank: IIED

Author(s): Kevin Johnstone

September 3, 2021

This report from UK think tank IIED looks at the integrated approaches needed to unlock the potential in supporting more sustainable and resilient livelihoods.

Productive use(s) of energy (PUE), especially when powered by renewables, can support more sustainable and resilient livelihoods in Least Developed Countries, by bringing immediate opportunities to community services and value chains in rural areas. But simply providing energy systems does not necessarily drive demand or development. Holistic thinking and integrated approaches are needed to unlock this potential. This means providing support such as financing, skills development, business inputs and market linkages; exploiting near-term opportunities in well-established value chains; and dismantling longer-term structural issues that prevent equitable uptake of PUE in rural areas. The COVID-19 pandemic offers an imperative and an opportunity to promote PUE, given the influx of financing to help small businesses — key energy users — stay afloat and build their resilience to future shocks.