Energy drives development, but our continued unsustainable and inefficient energy use impedes progress in areas such as health and climate change, and creates socio-economic barriers to equal development for all. Connecting households to modern sustainable energy is a vital element for realising all the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNU focuses on the efficient use of natural resources and on boosting sustainable energy sector expertise through targeted capacity development. Our Iceland-based geothermal training programme provides leading on-the-job education for emerging energy planners and engineers from developing countries. And by exploring overlapping natural resource use, our research is determining integrated practices to improve energy efficiency and resource recycling, making modern energy production cleaner and more affordable.
RESEARCH ASSISTANT, UNU-IAS
"Human life depends on natural resources. To secure our livelihoods, it is essential that we understand resource circulation and adjust our activities accordingly. My work contributes to designing a future in which human activities exist in harmony with the ecosystems in which we live."
"Access to energy is key to development. With the growing threats of climate change, clean energy is becoming increasingly important. My work at UNU aims to train professionals in developing countries so they can utilise indigenous clean energy for inclusive growth."
ASSOCIATE ACADEMIC OFFICER, UNU-EHS
"Global problems should be tackled by local solutions. My work at UNU is guided by a vision of an Africa managed by its own citizens and acting as a dynamic force in the international arena. I am passionate about promoting higher education, science, and technology on the African continent to achieve this vision."
Climate change poses many challenges to Africa’s key sectors, including water and energy. This project trains Africans to implement the kind of innovative scientific research methods that will generate solutions to ensure water and energy security on the continent.
Sustainable energy transitions involve the shift of resources between competing industrial sectors and political constituencies. Stakeholders in this process have varying degrees of political and economic power, and understanding how this influences clean energy transitions is crucial to effective policy formulation and facilitating transitions to sustainable energy systems. This project seeks to contribute to enhanced understanding of these factors.
With the growing need to decarbonise our global energy portfolio, geothermal power represents an increasingly important source of clean energy. This six-month programme provides trainees — many from developing countries that have geothermal potential — with hands-on opportunities to actively work on research, exploration, and development of geothermal energy.