Energy for refugees

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Working to Implement Sustainable Energy Solutions and Create Job Opportunities in Refugee Camps Worldwide  

People in Need

More than 10 million forcibly displaced people are living in refugee camp settings. 9 out of 10 of these people do not even have access to basic energy for cooking, lighting, education or economic activity.  This situation is often similar in the villages of the hosting communities.

Current Energy Challenges

The current energy systems in most refugee camps are powered by unsustainable diesel generators, with just the fuel alone costing an estimated $100 million per year. These old technologies and limited operational knowledge lead to poor practices and unnecessary waste of energy. Additionally, people living in camps often do not have access to basic electricity services and efficient cook stoves with sustainable fuel sources. These problems will not change without action and created awareness.

Potential Energy Solutions

With renewable energy technologies and increased energy usage awareness, it is possible to transition to renewable, long-term sustainable energy from the current fossil fuel dependent systems. Providing training in host communities and refugee camps will not only facilitate implementing the energy transition, but also create jobs and added community value. In addition, this project provides specialized private companies the opportunities to invest in economically viable renewable energy solutions in humanitarian settings.

Project Objective and Impact

Life in camps can be fundamentally transformed. Greening the camp operations has a significant impact on its environmental footprint and allows long term cost savings. By providing access to renewable electricity and clean cook stoves as well as training opportunities, a variety of humanitarian benefits are achieved. Increased knowledge and implementation of green energy in the field will result in more stable energy supply and newly generated job opportunities for refugees / host communities thereby improving quality of life. This transition will enhance safety, security, health and connectivity of displaced people around the globe.

UNHCR, UNITAR and other humanitarian actors conducted several pilot projects in the past. Now it’s time to upscale the efforts and deploy the renewable energy systems worldwide, beginning in Africa.