Youth Energy Academy
Communities and cities in Asia are already experiencing the consequences of climate change. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all needs a faster and more inclusive energy transition. With a growing population, higher energy demand and increasingly harsher climate change impacts, Asia needs to focus more on decentralized renewable energy (DRE) approaches. DRE provides crosscutting benefits, including providing energy to the many millions of people that still lack access, especially in rural and inaccessible areas such as small islands, while also offering possibilities for community development. The challenges, the scale of changes required, and the potential benefits of more citizen participation call for different forms of engagement from the individual to collective levels.
The YEA is an innovative and disruptive learning experience building a network of young people with skills and know-how to contribute to the sustainable energy transition. The AIT RRC.AP has introduced the YEA to Asia in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Youth Network (SEYN) and thanks to the support of the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change Asia-Pacific of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). YEA is also thanks to inputs from a network of partners and collaborators both within AIT and beyond.
The Youth Energy Academy explores opportunities for citizen-driven contributions to the sustainable energy transition, highlighting the new role of the “prosumer” (producer + consumer), renewable energy community groups and cooperatives, entrepreneurship, and others, from practical perspective.
Young people have a crucial stake in the future. For their energy and creativity, there is great potential in involving young women and men in the energy transition, regardless of their background, educational or professional path. In efforts to address the gender gap in energy issues, we encourage young women to apply.
What happens at YEA?
7-Day Youth Energy Academy follows a disruptive and intensive program consisting of the following:
Theoretical (morning) sessions providing background on the social, technical, policy, and financial considerations of decentralized renewable energy approaches, as outlined below:
Day 1 The Energy Trilemma
Climate Change, Energy Access, and Development
Day 2 Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE)
Technologies in addressing the Energy Trilemma
Day 3 People Power
The role of individuals & communities in DRE: Examples from Thailand and around the globe
Day 4 DRE on the ground
Site visits or virtual tours to local DRE projects
Day 5 Social Business
The role of social entrepreneurship models for renewable energy
Day 6 Mobilizing resources
Sources of funding for CRE and tips for drafting quality project proposals
Day 7 From idea to reality
Lessons learned from CRE Project Implementation: drivers & barriers for success
Practical (afternoon) workshops throughout the week are dedicated to hands-on workshops where participants build simple solar energy systems.
The YEA also convenes a series of informal sessions as an additional learning opportunity to learn through interaction in a social and informal atmosphere.
YEA follows participative, non-formal, and empowering methods aiming to boost creativity and inspire action. The cases and examples showed come from knowledgeable, like-minded people, while also being realistic by illustrating the many challenges that are inherent to all projects.
Theoretical sessions use interactive presentations, group discussions, case studies, and a site visits showcasing real-life community renewable energy applications. Practical workshops give participants the opportunity to build their own solar energy systems using "Do-it-Yourself" (DIY) and "Do-it-Together" (DIT) approaches, appropriate technology and open source available designs. Informal sessions create space for networking and exchanging with peers, practitioners, and experts on relevant topics.
Where, When, and Who?
To date, AIT RRC.AP has held the following events as part of the Youth Energy Academy Programme:
1st YEA in Asia
28 October - 3 November 2019 | AIT Campus, Pathum Thani, Thailand
The first YEA invited a total of 27 young women and mene from 13 countries in South and Southeast Asia to the AIT Campus.
28 September - 3 October 2020 | Online Event
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the YEA was convened virtually an convened a total of 21 young women and men from 5 countries in South and Southeast Asia who joined virtually and worked remotely in teams.
YEA DevCom Event
27 January 2021 | Virtual Event
In partnership with Yunus Thailand and SEYN, this virtual session reconvened Alumni from the 2019 and 2020 YEA programmes in a virtual interactive session including informal exchange and a workshop testing one of a series of tools on project design building on the Social Business Canvas.
YEA's growing network of alumni has shown enormous passion and commitment to advance renewable energy, sustainability, community development, entrepreneurship, climate action, or related topics.
Stay tuned for updates on future activities!
"After this program, I became more confident and committed on taking true actions to apply what I learn to real life. I hope to stay connected with people in this network to keep learning and sharing with each other."
-- YEA2020 Participant from Vietnam
"Although the session was virtual I was totally involved in each and every sessions and activities i.e. DIT, Mural exercises as well as a role play. During the whole session DIT session was most enjoyable since it was already many years I haven't worked on circuits. Role play was also a unique idea and interactive among other participants." -
-- V-YEA 2021 Participant from Nepal