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Issue 7: Energy Equity

9 March 2016

Editor's Note

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. —Charles Dickens

Behind every headline of record-breaking development successes fueled by increased energy use, there are untold stories of imbalances in energy access. This issue of the Stanford Energy Journal sets out to explore potential technological and policy tools to improve energy equity, especially in low-income and developing communities.

A technological solution presented by Motiv Power’s Kim Kilday addresses the transportation sector—electric trucks and buses converted from existing fleet reach out to broader communities while cutting down emissions.

Synergetic interactions between economic development and climate change mitigation can also be achieved by effective policymaking, as discussed by World Bank economists Stéphane Hallegatte and Mook Bangalore.

Carnegie Science scholars Chris Field and Katharine Mach probe deeper into the link between energy use and environmental impact and argue for a shift in consumer values towards a more sustainable paradigm to improve access to energy, a shared resource.

Stepping out of academia and into the field, Stanford students Joe Katz, Savannah Goodman, and Hunter Dudley speak to fellow energy enthusiasts, sharing their experiences working in developing communities. Having witnessed firsthand how adoption of clean energy helped these communities, they share their candid insights into what worked and what needed improving.

There are also topics on energy equity that we would like to see in future issues in one form or another. One example would be vulnerability to climate change and adaptation (readers are directed to the 2012 IPCC Special Report for insightful discussions on this topic). Another would be how countries with more emissions-intensive resources can support development while meeting international climate targets.

There is a long road ahead towards energy equity. With concerted efforts from the government, industry, and academia, we will make small yet firm steps forward.

Articles

9 March 2016
Breaking the link between energy use and environmental impact requires more than just technology. Changing values and consumer decisions will be key to break the link between energy and unsustainable consumption, enabling a transition to a truly sustainable future.
9 March 2016

Stanford student Hunter Dudley discusses his experiences filming a documentary on island micro grids in the South Pacific and Hawaiian Islands.

9 March 2016
Wold Bank economists investigate the connection between poverty reduction and energy consumption in relation to climate change.
9 March 2016
Stanford’s chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is changing the way charging stations are implemented in underprivileged areas around the world. PhD student Joe Katz elucidates the joys and struggles of implementing these design projects in the slums of Manila.
9 March 2016
Increasing the use of electric vehicles (EVs) can alleviate many of the environmental and public health catastrophes stemming from air pollution. Motiv Power is aiming to make these EVs economically accessible.
9 March 2016
Working with a motivated and caring team, Stanford student Savannah Goodman saw firsthand how affordable and clean light can provide new opportunities to local families in a developing community.