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There are nearly 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, and most of them have poor access to energy.

Within refugee camps, facilities such as schools and healthcare centres are mostly inefficiently powered by diesel generators, while almost entirely wood is used for cooking, and kerosene or torches for lighting. Outside the camps, which is where 85% of refugees live, the energy access challenges mirror the circumstances of the hosting populations and the extra pressure put on finite resources and infrastructure can often be a problem.

E4I is managing the Moving Energy Initiative, a consortium that has developed new approaches to providing energy access and management in humanitarian settings. The aim is to support the widespread adoption of new practices modelled on those used in the private sector with a particular emphasis on creating new markets and partnership opportunities for supplying renewable energy.

The findings from a series of research studies conducted over the course of the past two years form the basis for a number of on the ground interventions testing new ways of delivering 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 to bring reductions; addressing the funding challenges for financing new projects; creating and delivering low carbon projects, identifying and strengthening markets for renewables within refugee communities and investigating the feasibility of new public private partnerships. 

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).