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Productive Use of Energy: Pathway to Development? Reviewing the Outcomes and Impacts of Small-scale Energy Projects in the Global South


Wuppertal Institute for Climate

Environment and Energy


Julia Terrapon-Pfaff

Marie-Christine Grone

Carmen Dienst

Willington Ortiz


1 July 2018

This study analyses the results of an impact evaluation of 30 small-scale energy development projects to better understand whether and how the supply of sustainable energy services supports productive use activities and whether these activities have the expected positive impacts on local livelihoods. The results show that access to sustainable energy does not automatically result in productive activities and that energy is only one of the input factors required to foster socioeconomic development. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that activities, materials and information to support the productive use of energy (e.g., training, equipment or market research) need to be an integrated part of the energy project itself to allow for productive activities to develop on a wider scale.