Advanced

Energy 4 all? Investigating gendered energy justice implications of community-based micro-hydropower cooperatives in Ethiopia

Wiese, Katharina LU (2018) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20182
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
More than 70% of the population in Ethiopia lack access to electricity and thus rely on traditional sources of energy such as biomass that is associated with negative consequences on health and the environment. Decentralized community-based micro-hydropower plants (MHPs) are being utilized as effective means to transition to modern low-carbon energy systems providing access to electricity to communities in remote areas. However, there exist a knowledge gap regarding energy justice dimensions and gendered impacts related to sustainable energy transitions in the Global South.
This research investigates the gendered justice implications of low-carbon energy projects in the case of four community-based micro-hydropower projects in Ethiopia... (More)
More than 70% of the population in Ethiopia lack access to electricity and thus rely on traditional sources of energy such as biomass that is associated with negative consequences on health and the environment. Decentralized community-based micro-hydropower plants (MHPs) are being utilized as effective means to transition to modern low-carbon energy systems providing access to electricity to communities in remote areas. However, there exist a knowledge gap regarding energy justice dimensions and gendered impacts related to sustainable energy transitions in the Global South.
This research investigates the gendered justice implications of low-carbon energy projects in the case of four community-based micro-hydropower projects in Ethiopia implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). By applying the energy justice framework, I use a mixed-method research approach based on a survey, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and observations in order to identify socio-economic impacts and justice outcomes of the installations.
My data reveal divergent perceptions in the distribution, procedure and recognition dimensions among gender across all cases. Although the projects generally achieved positive outcomes for the lives of the villagers socio-economic impacts on income, productive use, health and education affected men and women differently. The particular energy needs, uses and challenges that women face were insufficiently addressed and hence are limiting the opportunities for women to benefit equally from access to electricity. Furthermore, the effective participation of women in the management of the cooperatives was impeded by underlying structural factors such as the rules of entry, social norms and behavior. Generally, procedural justice aspects such as access to information, consultation and participation seemed to be insufficient to create a sense of ownership which in turn can jeopardize the long-term sustainability of the hydropower plants.
Hence, practical recommendations refer to the active engagement and equal participation of men and women throughout the entire project cycle as well as accounting for gendered energy needs, concerns and challenges related to access to low-carbon energy. Furthermore, access to electricity needs to be combined with activities improving access to resources and women’s agency. Further development of energy justice theory by integrating gendered dimensions as well as debates on energy justice addressing low-carbon transitions in the Global South are needed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Wiese, Katharina LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20182
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
energy justice, gender, community-based, micro-hydropower, Ethiopia, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2018:030
funder
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation
language
English
additional info
This thesis was supported by the Right Livelihood College. It was further in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) Ethiopia.
id
8962304
date added to LUP
2018-11-01 16:02:04
date last changed
2018-11-01 16:02:04
@misc{8962304,
  abstract     = {More than 70% of the population in Ethiopia lack access to electricity and thus rely on traditional sources of energy such as biomass that is associated with negative consequences on health and the environment. Decentralized community-based micro-hydropower plants (MHPs) are being utilized as effective means to transition to modern low-carbon energy systems providing access to electricity to communities in remote areas. However, there exist a knowledge gap regarding energy justice dimensions and gendered impacts related to sustainable energy transitions in the Global South. 
This research investigates the gendered justice implications of low-carbon energy projects in the case of four community-based micro-hydropower projects in Ethiopia implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). By applying the energy justice framework, I use a mixed-method research approach based on a survey, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and observations in order to identify socio-economic impacts and justice outcomes of the installations. 
My data reveal divergent perceptions in the distribution, procedure and recognition dimensions among gender across all cases. Although the projects generally achieved positive outcomes for the lives of the villagers socio-economic impacts on income, productive use, health and education affected men and women differently. The particular energy needs, uses and challenges that women face were insufficiently addressed and hence are limiting the opportunities for women to benefit equally from access to electricity. Furthermore, the effective participation of women in the management of the cooperatives was impeded by underlying structural factors such as the rules of entry, social norms and behavior. Generally, procedural justice aspects such as access to information, consultation and participation seemed to be insufficient to create a sense of ownership which in turn can jeopardize the long-term sustainability of the hydropower plants. 
Hence, practical recommendations refer to the active engagement and equal participation of men and women throughout the entire project cycle as well as accounting for gendered energy needs, concerns and challenges related to access to low-carbon energy. Furthermore, access to electricity needs to be combined with activities improving access to resources and women’s agency. Further development of energy justice theory by integrating gendered dimensions as well as debates on energy justice addressing low-carbon transitions in the Global South are needed.},
  author       = {Wiese, Katharina},
  keyword      = {energy justice,gender,community-based,micro-hydropower,Ethiopia,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Energy 4 all? Investigating gendered energy justice implications of community-based micro-hydropower cooperatives in Ethiopia},
  year         = {2018},
}