UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Renewable Energy Projects in Rural China: a Systemic Capacity Approach
Long Seng To - University College London

Long Seng To, at UNSW SPREE, 28 May 2015

Long Seng To (39Min)

University College London

Long Seng To speaks at UNSW SPREE


Renewable energy can provide sustainable energy services in rural areas. However, ensuring that the technology functions well in remote locations is a major challenge. Delivering energy services using renewable energy systems require a diverse range of actors, including governments, program planners, equipment manufacturers, system designers, service networks and end-users. Assessing and building upon the existing capacity of these actors is essential for delivering energy services in rural areas effectively. Therefore, expanding energy access in developing countries will require significant capacity development efforts.

This seminar will focus on how rural electrification projects can enhance local capacity in a systemic way. It will draw upon case studies of renewable energy projects in rural China. A framework for understanding capacity development will be presented. This can be used to guide the design and assessment of renewable energy rural electrification projects within China and in other developing countries. The framework also contributes to a deeper understanding of capacity development in other sectors, especially where infrastructure is central to the challenge of service provision.

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Brief Bio

Long Seng To is currently a Research Fellow at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London. Her research focuses on the social, technical and institutional aspects of sustainable energy and development in Africa and the Asia Pacific region. Long Seng is currently working on a project about agro-industries and clean energy in Africa (AGRICEN). The project combines new approaches to political economy analysis with business development, innovation systems, financial engineering and participatory approaches to understand the potential role that agro-industries can play in widening energy access to rural communities. Long Seng currently works with research partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and the UK. She also teaches a course on ‘Clean Energy and Development’, and is a trustee of Engineers Without Borders UK.

Long Seng was previously Research Fellow at the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES), University of Surrey and continues to work with CES as a Visiting Researcher. Prior to that, Long Seng was Associate Lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Long Seng also worked as a consultant to the Australian government on climate change and energy policy, and worked with Oxfam and Engineers Without Borders Australia.