Traditionally, energy programmes focus mainly on providing energy access (in terms of electrical connectivity, improved cooking facilities etc.). However, if we are to reduce poverty, providing mere access to energy is definitely not enough. The target should be to empower the ‘energy poor’ to utilize the energy access for the productive uses of energy. Initiating productive uses provides equal opportunities for both men and women to involve in income generating activities and increases better access to basic education and health; which, in turn, leads to better livelihood opportunities and eventually alleviates poverty. This new extensive approach is accurately and briefly described by UNDP as ‘EnergyPlus Approach = Energy Access + Empowerment’.
It is thus crucial for a poor country like Nepal to retrofit current and past (still active) energy programmes into EnergyPlus programmes while the new programmes should, undoubtedly, adopt the approach. Following publications will help any stakeholders involved in the energy programmes to get an overview and guidance for implementing the EnergyPlus approach.
1. Towards an ‘Energy Plus’ Approach for the Poor: A Review of Good Practices and Lessons Learned from Asia and the Pacific
2. EnergyPlus Guidelines