Lecture 12 Energy Poverty, Access, and Justice

Gang He

November 14, 2022

Sample analytic questions

  • Why energy access is so foundamental for modern life?
  • The barriers and policies to facilitate energy access?
  • What is Justice40? And what investments are included?
  • What are the typical energy injustice and how to address them?

Energy poverty and SDG

Energy access and HDI

Energy poverty and gender equity

  • Women and kids spend more time collecting wood fuel
  • Women spend more time on cooking without clean fuel/energy
  • Women bear more burden on indoor air pollution
  • Women have less oportunity for development

Energy ladder

Sustainable energy for all

Share of population with electricity

Share of population with clean cooking fuel

China’s electricity for all

Energy justice

The goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy system, while also remediating social, economic, and health burdens on those disproportionately harmed by the energy system.

–Initiative for Energy Justice, 2019

EJ conceptual questions

Rooftop solar by race and ethnicity

The energy equity gap

Justice 40

Just transition framework

Energy, environmental, climate justice

Energy Environmental Climate
Energy supply/demand Environment burden/benefits Climate impact/benefits

Common Questions:
Who bears the burden? Who harvests the benefits? Do we know the injustice? Can people involve in the decision proceses? How to compensate?

NYS CLCPA disadvantaged communities (DACs)


  • Electricity/energy access is fundamental to other modern services: education, health, and information
  • Energy access also has gender equity, health cobenefits, and other implications
  • Energy justice is important to achieve just transition
  • An reflection on our approaches to energy justice


Alstone, Peter, Dimitry Gershenson, and Daniel M Kammen. 2015. “Decentralized Energy Systems for Clean Electricity Access.” Nature Climate Change 5 (4): 305–14. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2512.
Cong, Shuchen, Destenie Nock, Yueming Lucy Qiu, and Bo Xing. 2022. “Unveiling Hidden Energy Poverty Using the Energy Equity Gap.” Nature Communications 13 (1): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30146-5.
He, G., and D. G. Victor. 2017. “Experiences and Lessons from Chinas Success in Providing Electricity for All.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 122: 335–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.03.011.
Jenkins, Kirsten, Darren McCauley, Raphael Heffron, Hannes Stephan, and Robert Rehner. 2016. “Energy Justice: A Conceptual Review.” Energy Research & Social Science 11: 174–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2015.10.004.
Sunter, Deborah A, Sergio Castellanos, and Daniel M Kammen. 2019. “Disparities in Rooftop Photovoltaics Deployment in the United States by Race and Ethnicity.” Nature Sustainability 2 (1): 71–76. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-018-0204-z.