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Using the sustainable development goals for shaping holistic energy programs, projects and policies

The 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development is a comprehensive global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity comprised of 17 Goals (SDGs) and 169 Targets to be achieved by 2030 (including SDG7 on affordable and clean energy). The SDGs provide a comprehensive, and internationally agreed, lens to understand and communicate cross-sectoral implications of energy policies, programs and projects. The aim of this research project is to create a framework for using the details of 169 Targets of the SDGs for shaping holistic energy programs, projects and policies. The project will build up from three Nature-journals publications (Fuso Nerini et al. 2017, 2018a, 2018b) led by the applicant, that explored and developed initial methods for assessing interlinkages between energy, climate change and the SDGs. This framework will be tested through a diverse (geographically and topically) selection of case studies. Outputs of the project will include a set of scientific publications, and outreach to the key organizations that could potentially use such framework in their daily operations.

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On September 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations adopted a new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda succeeds the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (SDGs), and features 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 Targets, which UN member-states have committed to implement by 2030. SDG 7 and its five constituent Targets call for action to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The 17 SDGs and their 169 Targets are highly interconnected (Nilsson et al. 2016, Fuso Nerini et al. 2017). However, most programs, policies and projects are developed and implemented in their respective SDG-silo. That is a limited approach.

Aim and objectives

Development and field testing of a framework for using the sustainable development goals for shaping holistic energy programs, projects and policies


  1. Fuso Nerini, F.; Sovacool, B.; Hughes, N.; Cozzi, L.; Cosgrave, E.; Howells, M.; Tavoni, M.; Tomei, J.; Zerriffi, H.; Milligan. B. Connecting climate action with the other Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Sustainability, 2019; 2 (8): 674-680
  2. Fuso Nerini, F.; Tomei, J.; To, L.S.; Bisaga, I.; Parikh, P.; Black, M.; Borrion, A.; Spataru, C.; Broto, V.C.; Anandarajah, G.; Miligan, B.; Mulugetta, Y. Mapping synergies and trade-offs between energy and the Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Energy, 2017; 3 (1): 10–15
  3. Vinuesa, R.; Azizpour, H.; Leite, I.; Balaam, M.; Dignum, V.; Domisch, S.; Felländer, A.; Langhans, S.; Tegmark, M.; Fuso Nerini. F. The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Nature Communications, 2019 (in the last review stages, ArXiv Preprint at
  4. Fuso Nerini, F.; Hughes, N.; Cozzi, L.; Cosgrave, E.; Howells, M.; Sovacool, B.; Tavoni, M.; Tomei, J.; Zerriffi, H.; Milligan. B. Shore up support for climate action using SDGs. Nature, 2018; 557: 31

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Smart City Concepts in Curitiba: Low-carbon Transport and Mobility in a Digital Society
Urban Circularity Assessment Framework
The interface of sustainability science and bioenergy systems
Using the sustainable development goals for shaping holistic energy programs, projects and policies
The Clean Cooking Explorer platform for Nepal
Geospatial Analysis and Electrification Investment Scenario Preparation for Yemen
Capacity building on geospatial electrification analysis for industrializing countries
Capturing emissions in least-cost electrification planning
Assessment of the potential for battery storage to provide affordable electricity access through solar PV mini-grids in West Africa
Mwinda Project: Data-driven solutions for people-centered electrification in the DRC
Preparation of an Indicative Least Cost Geospatial Electrification Plan To Achieve Universal Access In Somalia
Preparation of an Indicative Least Cost Geospatial Electrification Plan to Achieve Universal Access in Benin
World Energy Outlook 2019
Least-cost electrification Pathways for Benin
The Global Electrification Platform
Least-cost electrification Pathways for Madagascar
The UNECE nexus assessment of the Drin River Basin
Climate, Land and Energy Analytical study of Potential Nexus Issues in Jordan and Morocco
OPM Ethiopia project “Energy system development pathways in Ethiopia”
National energy planning and policy support for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals
Bio-based circular model for sustainable urban economies
Chemical Recycling for Circular Flows of Plastic Waste
African Power Pool Modelling
Assessing the sustainability of bioethanol production in different development contexts: a systems approach
Assessing the Water-Land-Energy-Food Nexus in trans-boundary river basins
Bioethanol strategy for Indonesia
Biogas based poly-generation for rural development in Bangladesh
Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) in China’s power plants
Climate Vulnerability of African Countries (completed projects)
Cost optimal pathways for the Cypriot energy system
Country level CLEWs
Developing an electricity supply model for Cyprus
Development of long-term energy projections for African countries
Development of the Model Management Infrastructure (MoManI) interface
Electricity Access in the Brazilian Amazon
Electrification paths for developing countries
Energy systems-CGE modelling Link up for pilot countries
Energy Systems Analysis Agency
Estimating Investment Needs for the Power Sector in the Africa Region
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Global CLEWs model (completed projects)
INSIGHT_E: An energy think tank informing the European Commission
INSISTS Sustainable Bioenergy Development in Indonesia
Nexus assessment of the North West Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS)
Open Geospatial Data for Energy Access
OpeN Source Spatial Electrification Toolkit (ONSSET)
Oskarshamn CLEWs
Providing rural energy access in developing countries
Renewable energy mapping for Africa
Robust Energy and Climate Indicators for the Steel Industry
About the project
Urban Smart Grids in Brazil
Supporting the Design of Sustainable Development Policies with Policy Modelling Tools
The Development of Bioethanol Markets under Sustainability Requirements
The Electricity Model Base for Africa (TEMBA)
CO2 Emissions and Energy Efficiency in Sweden
Uganda 100% Renewable by 2050
About the project
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