Justice and politics in energy access for education, livelihoods and health: how socio-cultural processes mediate the winners and losers

A. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The rhetoric on development benefits of energy access often focuses on education, livelihoods and health. Using case studies of two energy access projects in India, this paper demonstrates that these claims, while true in part, are neither simple nor straightforward. It argues that pre-existing socio-cultural processes mediate the development outcomes of energy access projects. In particular, the roles of gender, socio-economic positions and the local economy are vital in understanding the links between education, livelihoods, health and energy.
This paper is important for two reasons. First, working with culture as a mediator, it provides nuanced insights into relationships between energy access and three key development goals. Second, by presenting this analysis, the paper identifies a need for further research on the relationships between socio-cultural processes, development and energy access and, how by keeping these processes in mind, the benefits of energy access could be extended to less privileged social groups. This paper is based on a nine-month long ethnographic research in five villages in India’s Bihar state. Home tours, interviews, participant observations and group discussions were used to collect the data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • energy access
  • Development
  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Education
  • health
  • livelihoods
  • caste
  • Solar
  • biomass
  • micro-grid
  • Health
  • Energy access

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