Energy, Poverty & Development course

 Course code:  MEC5088Z

Course convenor: Louise Tait (Energy, poverty and development group at ERC), Louise.Tait@uct.ac.za

Course dates and times: 2013:  23 September – 11 November, consisting of lectures and own study and readings. Lectures will run between 30 September and 25 October.

2014: second semester, details to be confirmed.

Course objectives

This course aims to introduce students to the topic of access to energy services for the poor. The objectives of this course are threefold. Firstly, It aims to give the student an overall understanding of the role that modern energy services plays in human and economic development. Secondly it explores the design of appropriate policy and programme responses to supplying energy services. This includes consideration of the overall system of supply of the energy carrier, end-user technology and the social setting into which they will be introduced. Finally the course aims to give students an understanding of social science research methods and methodologies appropriate to conducting primary research in this field.

Key elements of the course include the following

  • Key concepts around definitions and measuring access
  • The different energy carriers and technologies used by the poor
  • Demand profiles and consumption patterns of poor households
  • Ethnographic and cultural dimensions of energy use
  • Interactions and impacts of energy use on poverty and development
  • Strategies, policies and programmes to supply modern energy services
  • Technology and inclusive innovation, user based design
  • Public policy – roles and responsibilities of the state and the design of pro-poor energy policies

Course Assessment

Assessment will include participatory, oral and written assignments (60%) and an exam (40%).