Universal Energy Access Lab

Developing planning tools for electricity access

Expedited electrification promises to improve income generation prospects, enable children to study longer, promote improved environmental health (e.g., through decreasing risk of respiratory disease from kerosene light substitution), and improve the overall quality of life. Key strategies for closing this gap include data-based decision-making and advanced policy-planning frameworks, private sector financing, versatile solutions that include decentralized renewables, and efforts to both extend rural electrification and cope with urban densification.

Decreasing rates of electrification and the scale and complexity of energy poverty motivates stakeholders to formulate paradigm-shifting models for improved electricity access. Incremental improvements, while necessary, are not adequate for fulfilling universal electricity access in a timely manner. With this in mind, the Universal Energy Access Lab research group at MIT and IIT-Comillas focuses on two main tasks with the potential to affect large-scale change: 1. regulatory and business model evaluation and recommendation, and 2. the development of infrastructure planning tools for electricity access. Learn more at