Access to Energy


Access to Energy is a primary challenge for developing countries. Insufficient infrastructure and production capacity, poor reliability, low access for the poor and rural areas are a few of the issues to be addressed. Households in developing countries still lack access to modern energy services that are affordable, clean, reliable, and safe, and pay high prices for poor-quality substitutes. However, there are major differences across the regions. Apart from a few large oil-producing countries, sub-Saharan countries on the whole do not have access to substantial domestic fossil fuel energy reserves and rely on imports for a large share of its current energy needs. This situation entrenches poverty, constrains delivery of local services, increases vulnerability to climate change, limits expansion of opportunities, erodes environmental sustainability at the local, national, and global levels, and creates negative impacts on human capital. The aim of our research agenda is to produce a set of knowledge useful to address these current challenges. Such knowledge, grounded on rigorous micro-level empirical and theoretical analysis, will help designing appropriate policy options, business models and regulatory environment. This should take into account take the realm of emerging and developing world in order for energy to produce its expected benefits for the large segment of currently excluded populations in these countries.

Research Topics

The axis evolves around three core research topics

  1. What are the financial, behavioral, institutional and regulatory impediments to energy access?
  2. What are the roads from energy to development? Causal mechanisms and constraints
  3. Designing appropriate regulatory framework and business models for energy access in developing and emerging countries

Research team

Coordination: Ahmed Tritah (Le Mans Université, Mines ParisTech)

Researchers: Akil Amiraly (Ecole Polytechnique), Geoffrey Barrows (Ecole Polytechnique), Nicolas Mottis (Ecole Polytechnique), Jean-Pierre Ponssard (Ecole Polytechnique), Maria Eugenia Sanin (Université d’Evry and Inter-American Development Bank), Johanna Choumert-Nkolo (EDI Global), Jeremy Tanguy (Université de Savoie Mont-Blanc).

Doctoral students: Gwen-Jiro Clochard (Ecole Polytechnique), Nicolas Plain (Université de Grenoble), Maryeme Kettani (CEA)

This axis is developed in collaboration with the Climate Economics Chair


Author(s) :
Thomas André, Nicolas Mottis, Jean-Pierre Ponssard
Author(s) :
Maryème Kettani et Philippe Bandelier
Author(s) :
Author(s) :
Gwen-Jiro Clochard and Guillaume Hollard
Author(s) :
Emile Tenezakis & Ahmed Tritah