Young man with solar panel, Mali.
Young man with solar panel, Mali.

Identifying technologies and implementation approaches for improving energy access in underserved communities.

Roughly 1.3 billion people lack access to modern energy services such as affordable and reliable heating, cooking, mechanical power, transportation, lighting, and telecommunications services. Energy access is essential for providing clean water and sanitation, increasing productivity, promoting economic development, improving health, reducing poverty, and protecting the environment.

D-Lab works with organizations based in communities with limited energy access to address these challenges by:

  • Understanding community energy needs,
  • Identifying, evaluating, and improving specific energy solutions, and
  • Providing our partners support in designing and implementing projects to meet a community's needs.

Biomass Fuels & Cookstoves

The team at Alternative Energy Saving Technologies, Soroti, Uganda.

D-Lab's approach to helping users climb the energy ladder is to focus on scaling solutions by engaging with field practitioners. D-Lab's fuel and stove research team helps technology developers overcome challenges and meet the needs of their customers. Empowering producers to reach scale can bring needed solutions to users in the near term. Read more.

Energy Needs Assessment Toolkit

Needs assessment, Kenya.

Understanding the energy needs and market opportunities in a specific off-grid community or region is the first step in  effectively selecting and implementing solutions that meet a community's energy needs. D-Lab has developed the Energy Assessment Toolkit to guide organizations through the process of gathering this information. Read more.

Indoor Heating

Nepal needs assessment.

To improve thermal comfort in Himalayan homes and minimize exposure to high levels of indoor air pollution, MIT D-Lab is developing an integrated program that works directly with Himalayan communities for creating sustainable solutions to improve indoor air quality, indoor thermal comfort, and human health in the region. Read more.


Cookstoves, Uganda.

Selected resources related to the off-grid energy sector compiled by MIT D-Lab energy researchers. Resource pages include General Information & NewsKey OrganizationsAssessment & EvaluationBusiness SupportGenderHumanitarianBiomass Fuels & CookstovesSolar PowerProductive UseMini & Micro-GridsBiogas & Biodigesters, and Food Storage.


Megha Hegde, Research Associate

Anish Paul Antony, Postdocoral Researcher

Dan Sweeney, Research Scientist 

Eric Verploegen, Research Engineer, Food-Water-Energy Lead