Energy efficiency optimum strategies for low carbon development in emerging economies: Comparative research

Sound energy efficiency policies play a critical role in fighting climate change. They are considered vital to reducing energy bills and reducing emissions and air pollution, while also improving energy security and sovereignty, and increasing access to energy. However, there are still significant barriers to the effective implementation of inclusive energy-efficient policies in developing countries. Women in rural areas are particularly affected by poor access to reliable energy sources such as electricity, thus forcing households to turn to biofuels such as wood and dung to cook, light, and warm their homes. This “energy poverty” remains one of the most formidable challenges to any progress in global development. Although a growing body of literature is emerging on how improved energy efficiency and reduced energy demand generate climate benefits, there is still a lack of empirical evidence on how to deliver the scale and speed required.

This project is being implemented by Quebec-based Econoler Inc., which specializes in the development and implementation of energy efficiency and clean energy production. It is aimed at identifying energy efficiency measures and exploring options to improve inclusiveness in access and decision-making in rural areas of West African countries as a combined mitigation (reduction of emissions) and adaptation strategy. It will generate evidence to develop and operationalize solutions and build understanding of the socioeconomic determinants of energy poverty, particularly their gender dimension. The project will also build research capacities of targeted countries through research and mentoring support to younger researchers and peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges; and it will develop a policy framework that acts as a set of guidelines for sub-Saharan African countries interested in developing efficient energy policy and fostering energy justice.

As a result of the project, researchers and policymakers will be able to advance policy debates to foster energy justice in their countries; women leaders and local government representatives will be able to contribute to national adaptation plans and policies; and national NGOs and think tanks will be able to work with the relevant government agencies to mainstream energy efficiency measures in national adaptation policies and strategies and scale up the identified energy efficiency solutions.

Project ID


Project status



36 months

IDRC Officer

Bhim Adhikari

Total funding

CA$ 749,900


South of Sahara

Project Leader

Laurent Jodoin


Econoler Inc.

Institution Country


Institution Website