Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security


Research Team:

Staff at CAS are contributing to this debate in their involvement throughout the lifetime of PISCES. Tom Molony is leading the socio-economic baseline surveys and the Equity cross-cutting theme. James Smith heads the Research into Use cross-cutting theme, with a particular focus on policy development.

Also working on PISCES at University of Edinburgh is Shishusri Pradhan (Science Studies Unit) and—in a rare example of cross-college research at the University—colleagues in the College of Science and Engineering are also involved. Colin Pritchard, at the Institute for Energy Systems, is working with the University of Dar es Salaam on the technology research theme of the programme.


This project was funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).


Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security (PISCES) is a five year Research Programme Consortium funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). Its objective is to produce policy-relevant information and approaches that can be applied by governments in developing the role of bioenergy in delivering energy access for the poor. Put simply, PISCES is about ‘New Knowledge for Sustainable Bioenergy’.

The Research Programme is led by the Nairobi-based African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS, Kenya), with lead partners University of EdinburghPractical Action (Kenya, UK and Sri Lanka), M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF, India), and the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), together with a network of national and international partners and collaborators.

It is PISCES’ bioenergy focus – incorporating biomass from natural sources, biowaste streams from agriculture and industry, and biofuels from purpose grown energy crops – that has resonated with an increasingly polarised international debate. The debate centres on whether and how humanity should find more of our energy from bioenergy sources, and how that pathway might affect the poor and the environment.