Bioenergy for Sustainable Energy Access in Africa

This research assignment investigates the challenges and opportunities affecting the adoption and roll out of bioenergy across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and will provide recommendations on affordable, accessible and innovative bioenergy technologies that will improve poor people’s access to bioenergy.

  • This is a DFID-funded, 12-month study.
  • LTS is leading a consortium for it, with the University of Edinburgh and E4tech.
  • The study will inform further research to be implemented under the Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme.
  • The focus is on investigating the value chains for biofuel technologies (and their feedstocks, end uses and enabling conditions) such as combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, oil pressing, anaerobic digestion, fermentation and microalgae.


Access to energy is a key constraint to development in many parts of Africa, despite good supplies of energy sources including bioenergy. Knowledge on the most promising sources and technologies for converting biofuels to accessible and affordable energy is impartial and fragmented. The BSEAA research sets out to address this.


LTS is leading and managing this research assignment, which includes:

  • Conducting a wide-ranging literature review of academic, grey and commercial literature.
  • Mapping academic, commercial and public stakeholders related to bioenergy in Africa.
  • Screening bioenergy technology value chains against key criteria to prioritise the most interesting countries and technologies for a more in-depth look.
  • Developing case studies of success stories and specific opportunities for further research with high potential for more funding from DFID.
  • Synthesising and preparing a smooth handover for a 2nd phase of bioenergy research under the TEA programme.

Value and benefits

This research will define the content of BSEAA Phase II (within the TEA programme), which is likely to include further targeted research and may lead to direct DFID investment in promising bioenergy technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The overall goal is to promote affordable, accessible and innovative bioenergy technologies that will improve poor people’s access to bioenergy.

Click below to view the Bioenergy Scoping Study















Evaluation of Carbon Market Finance Programme

LTS is conducting an independent programme-level evaluation of the Carbon Market Finance Programme (CMFP).

The CMFP is an innovative programme providing £50 million from the International Climate Fund (ICF) over the period 2013 to 2025. It is funded jointly by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) / Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and administered by the World Bank.

The programme aims ‘to increase the flow of international carbon finance to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – with a focus on Africa – to support climate change mitigation and poor peoples’ access to clean energy and other poverty reducing technologies.’

  • The CMFP is being implemented through the World Bank’s (WB) Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) programme.
  • The programme is developing capacity, tools, pilot programmes and methodologies to increase energy access in LDCs using clean and efficient technologies.
  • LTS is leading the evaluation, partnering with Ecofys, and reporting primarily to the DFID/DECC evaluation management group, and also to the evaluation reference group which includes Ci-Dev partners.


The programme is complex, long-term, operates in a new market area, is innovative and involves multiple partners. Independent evaluation is thus required to assess progress of the programme towards objectives; enable real-time learning and programme management adjustments; capture lessons; evaluate and demonstrate impacts and test the effectiveness of carbon markets to incentivise greater investment in low carbon technologies and reduce poverty.


Given the uncertainty around carbon markets, the evaluation is taking a flexible approach that allows it to adapt to the changing environment over the next decade. The learning aspect of the evaluation is important, and we are using a mix of theory-based, participatory, utilisation focused and case study approaches to achieve this. The emphasis of the evaluation is likely to evolve, from relevance to efficiency and effectiveness and then to impact and sustainability, putting the emphasis of each evaluation on a different set of evaluation questions/sub-questions. This is appropriate to the nature of the programme, allowing us to use the Theory of Change as the foundation, but to draw on other design elements to help answer the evaluation questions at the right points through the evaluation process.

Value and benefits

The aim is to provide a high-quality evaluation that will enable DFID, DECC, the Evaluation Management Group, the Reference Group, the programme staff at the Ci-Dev to improve the performance and effectiveness of the programme and demonstrate impact. It is expected that other donors (World Bank, Sweden, Swiss Cent Foundation) and stakeholders (UNFCCC bodies, the carbon industry bodies and recipient representatives) will also use the findings within international policy processes, and to strengthen their own M&E frameworks.

Scoping of a High-Deforesting Multi-country Programme for the Africa Regional Department

This consultancy provided an opportunity to contribute to the work of a government department on a fast-moving, high profile portfolio. It involved facilitating a consultative process and conduct desk/internet research to produce a concept paper and the foundation elements of a DFID programme memorandum for a new High Deforesting Multi-Country Programme for ARD. The role of the Consultant was to analyse the outcomes of COP 15/Copenhagen and to start to design a programme which would enable the selected countries to respond to/make the most of these outcomes. The Consultant required an understanding of the impacts of climate change on development, deforestation drivers, the potential of forests to reduce poverty and contribute to the MDGs, knowledge of international forest policy processes and institutions, ability to work with government and donors, and experience of east/southern Africa. He also required a good understanding of DFID and general development principles.

Climate Change Vulnerability in Transboundary Basins and Aquifers: Assessment

LTS was commissioned by UNEP, to inform a high level report identifying the transboundary basins and aquifers in Africa that are most at risk as a result of climate change. The report identified the key vulnerabilities and priorities for action in these basins and aquifers providing UNEP with the necessary information to engage with AMCOW on adaptation within transboundary systems. This assessment drew on state-of-the-art climate science and modelled scenarios and considered these against demographic and economic development data and trends; water resource, biodiversity and infrastructure risks, and indicators of institutional cooperation and capability.

Implementing Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action

DFID supported the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Office of Science and Technology to support the design of institutional arrangements and strengthening of capacity for implementing ‘Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action’. In early August 2005, the Bureau of the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology instructed NEPAD Office of Science and Technology to start preparing background studies and initiate processes to guide and ensure speedy implementation of the Plan. LTS, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, supported the process through a short-term advisor based in Pretoria responsible for preparing two high-level policy papers on instruments and institutions for financing research and development based on global trends in Asia and conducting an international survey of donors funding science and technology in developing countries.