Why taking a systems perspective could be the key to success: findings from a meta study.
The WISIONS team has published a new article entitled “Energising The WEF Nexus To Enhance Sustainable Development At Local Level” in the “Journal of Environmental Management”. Read or download it here.
The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is increasingly recognised as a conceptual framework able to support the efficient implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite growing attention paid to the WEF nexus, the role that renewable energies can play in addressing trade-offs and realising synergies has received limited attention.
Until now, the focus of WEF nexus discussions and applications has mainly been on national or global levels, macro-level drivers, material flows and large infrastructure developments. This overlooks the fact that major nexus challenges are faced at local level.
Aiming to address these knowledge gaps, the authors conduct a systematic analysis of the linkages between small-scale energy projects in developing countries and the food and water aspects of development.
The analysis is based on empirical data from continuous process and impact evaluations complemented by secondary data and relevant literature. The study provides initial insights into how to identify interconnections and the potential benefits of integrating the nexus pillars into local level projects in the global south. The study identifies the complex links which exist between sustainable energy projects and the food and water sectors and highlights that these needs are currently not systematically integrated into project design or project evaluation. A more systematic approach, integrating the water and food pillars into energy planning at local level in the global south, is recommended to avoid trade-offs and enhance the development outcomes and impacts of energy projects.