We are facing an extreme energy shortage globally. Access to affordable fuels would create significant and positive change in developing nations.
IESE has teamed up with the Fuel Freedom Foundation to mitigate energy poverty by creating the Fuel Freedom Chair for Energy and Social Development to address this problem through research, energy education and knowledge transfer.
The Fuel Freedom Chair leads research projects in selected countries in partnership with local associated business schools in order to deliver a program – adapted to each country’s reality – that focuses on understanding the key challenges, mapping potential solutions and encouraging their adoption.
- Electricity: Two-thirds of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa still lives without access to electricity, especially in rural areas, where most electricity comes from small diesel generators. They can be converted to run on cheaper, cleaner and locally produced methanol and other fuels. Furthermore, new business models can harness solar photovoltaic and off-grid technologies to connect remote localities.
- Transportation: Transportation (oil-based) fuel costs are significantly higher in Africa and other developing nations than in the developed world. Africans could convert cars already on the road to run on locally produced replacement fuels such as ethanol, methanol and butanol, which burn cleaner than gasoline.
- Fertilizer production: Alternatives to the lack of affordable fertilizers can be developed through local fertilizer facilities using residual natural gas and by improving the access to credit for small farmers.
- Cooking fuels: Approximately 3 billion people around the world cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves, leading to premature deaths and pollution. Solutions include domestically produced ethanol or LPG to fuel cookstoves instead of using.