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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P029531/1
Title: Humanitarian, Engineering and Energy for Displacement (HEED)
Principal Investigator: Gaura, Professor E
Other Investigators:
Tran, Dr AL Lim, Professor M Scott-Smith, Dr T
Nixon, Dr JD Crawley, Professor H
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Ctr for Fluid and Complex Systems
Organisation: Coventry University
Scheme: GCRF (EPSRC)
Starts: 01 May 2017 Ends: 31 August 2020 Value (£): 972,702
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Mar 2017 EPSRC GCRF 1 Meeting C - 17 March 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
To address this global challenge call, a multi-sectorial consortium led by two UK Universities (Coventry University and the University of Oxford), with an international civil society partner and developing country researchers (Practical Action) and an international sustainable energy and ICT social enterprise consultancy (Scene Connect), has been formed to provide original research on energy for displaced populations. The overarching aim of this proposal is the implementation of safe and sustainable energy solutions for lighting, electrification, cooking, heating and cooling, and water and sanitation that promotes development and improves wellbeing in displaced communities, and the associated ICT-based business processes that enable replication and scalability.

The consortium aims to deliver an innovative research programme to understand how the energy needs of displaced people can be met a safe, sustainable manner. The project seeks to provide research on energy needs in self-settlements, host communities and refugee camps, and understand how sustainable energy solutions can be delivered. Based on this evidence, the consortium will engage a range of energy stakeholders to design and implement sustainable energy solutions. The role of sustainable sources of energy in providing energy services for refugee protection is a critical area for innovation and scale-up. While the focus within refugee camps is often on solar energy (due to the advanced nature of this technology and the natural solar resource available in many developing countries), there are increasing opportunities for the use of renewable biomass and biogas, wind generators, micro-hydro, geothermal, LPG, and waste recycling. Similarly, renewable micro-grids and hybrid systems are often proposed as options for enabling flexible solutions that can be supplied quickly and efficiently in humanitarian emergencies. In addition, the feasibility and ability of low-cost, remote monitoring wireless systems to manage assets and pre-empt operations and maintenance issues of energy infrastructure require further investigation. Digital infrastructure could potentially be created to provide the private sector the assurance it requires to enter this market which has traditionally been the domain of humanitarian actors. All these scientific areas are worthy of research.

The programme of work will provide energy access to four displaced populations in Rwanda (Kigeme, Nyabiheke, Gihembe refugee camps) and Nepal (Tibet and Bhutan refugees and Kathmandu climate change refugees) and assess the impact of the provision of energy on people's lives against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create impact through scalability of the energy solutions. Through the program we aim to build capacity with partner countries and organisations. To deliver this, the progress and outputs of the project will be disseminated through the UNESCO UNITWIN Network in Humanitarian Engineering (in which Coventry University is the global lead) as well as specially designed workshops to be held in Africa and Asia over the three year programme period. Ultimately, the project hopes to create a paradigm shift in the way refugees see themselves, instead of 'beneficiaries' dependent on handouts, they will be able to "HELP" themselves and become agents able to choose, produce, consume and take part in the running of their own communities.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cov.ac.uk