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There are nearly 60 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, and many of them have poor access to energy.

Within refugee camps, facilities such as schools and healthcare centres are often powered by diesel generators, while wood is used for cooking, and kerosene or torches for lighting. Outside the camps, which is where most refugees live, the energy access challenges mirror the circumstances of the host populations and the extra pressure put on finite resources and infrastructure can often be a problem.

We are leading the Moving Energy Initiative, a consortium that is testing new approaches to providing energy access and management in humanitarian interventions. The aim is to support the widespread adoption of new practices, whether in terms of camp management, service provision, business models and private sector engagement or partnerships with local authorities.

The findings from a series of research studies conducted over the course of the past year form the basis for a number of interventions testing new ways of developing sustainable energy solutions in camps in Kenya and Burkina Faso and in non-camp setting in Jordan. These include optimising the management of energy consumption and related data; addressing the funding challenges; supporting the development of integrated energy plans; developing the energy infrastructure management contracts; promoting low carbon interventions; promoting local market development, among others.

The Moving Energy Initiative (MEI) is a collaboration between Energy 4 Impact, Chatham House, Practical Action Consulting, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).