[SE12-ENE] Renewable Energy Technologies for Developing Countries: Case Studies in Research, North-South Collaboration, and Capacity Building

DAY 2 – Tuesday 3 May – 14:00-15:30
Swiss Tech | Room 1B | Level Garden

Session Leaders | Summary | Panelists and Abstracts


Session Leaders

Federico Rosei
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Canada

Federico Rosei is a Professor at INRS and holds the UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage (MATECSS), since 2014. He is a physicist with wide-ranging interests that bridge from fundamental studies of surfaces and interfaces to materials for third generation solar cells. He has published over 200 papers in refereed journals and delivered more than 210 invited talks at international conferences. Since 2011, he has been the Director of the Centre for Energy, Materials and Telecommunications of INRS.


Louis Vervoort
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Canada

Originally, a polytechnical engineer from the University of Ghent in Belgium, Louis holds a PhD in physics from the University of Marseille, France, and a post‐doc at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. His original field of research is condensed matter physics (in particular semiconductor nanostructures). He was appointed Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair MATECSS, hosted at INRS in spring 2015. His main motivations to join the Chair are twofold: First, it allows him to be at the heart of what disruptive innovation in renewable energies and new materials may be in the near future. Second, it allows him to contribute to an endeavor that aims at alleviating one of the crucial problems of our time, global climate change.



This session will highlight and discuss a few salient case studies related to new technologies for sustainable energy, as applied to developing countries. The contributions either stem from researchers from developing countries, or concern effective North-South collaborations. They all share as common denominator new efforts of innovation in renewable energy technologies. The spectrum of renewable energy technologies addressed is wide; also, the contributions range from hands-on development projects to managerial and research policy analyses.

The first speaker will present her experience in the implementation, in rural India, of photovoltaic water pumps and solar irrigation technology developed at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. This project aims in particular to support and involve women in more efficient and sustainable agricultural activities. A researcher from Nigeria will present a technical description of a homemade plug-flow biodigester, that is easy to make and can provide biogas (e.g. for cooking) to, in principle, large parts of the rural population. Regarding knowledge transfer and networking, a UK-based researcher will describe his experience in managing networks in the field of renewable energy technologies, with the aim to distill the key lessons learned. Finally, an Egyptian researcher will address her country’s efforts in capacity building in research and science and in developing renewable energy resources. A detailed overview will be given of the Egyptian government’s programs and initiatives related to sustainable energy resources and research development.

Besides presenting these case studies, the discussion session will aim at identifying best practices not only in research and innovation, but also in training, networking and knowledge transfer. How can the respective innovations have the biggest impact? How to ensure an optimum dynamics of acceptance, dissemination, and/or application of the new technologies in the respective countries?


Ghada Bassioni, Ain Shams University, Egypt, Present Capacity Building Schemes in Egypt [PDF Full Paper]


Gbolabo Abidemi Ogunwande, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, Development and Evaluation of a Semi-Automated Stirrer for a Domestic Plug-Flow Biodigester [PDF Full Paper]


Eva Schuepbach, Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, Switzerland, Capacity Building in Solar Irrigation Technology among Female Farmers in Rural India


Jon Sumanik-Leary, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, Resilience, Adaptability and Solidarity: Auto-Ethnographic Reflections on Four Years of Networking Energy for Development [PDF Full Paper]