My name is Pravesh Raghoo. I am from Mauritius. I go to Oregon State University where I am a M.S. Public Policy – Energy Policy candidate.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
The main energy and community issue important to me (and to many scientists and humanitarians worldwide) is energy access in regions of sub–Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Millions of people do not have access to electricity and a larger number still rely on traditional energy sources like dung, fuelwood etc. for cooking and heating purposes in their households. Without electricity in those regions, these people are deprived of potable water and sanitation, good quality healthcare services, employment because of a lack of industrial and manufacturing activities and faces food security issues due to poor agricultural production, among others. Children spend most of their time looking for fuelwood for cooking food, sacrificing their education. Cooking with traditional fuels have resulted in household air pollution taking the lives of millions of women and children in these regions. If we do not accelerate our endeavors to expand energy access from sustainable energy sources now, by 2030 there will still be millions of people living in extreme poverty conditions.
As simple as the solution may sound – build solar farms, set up wind energy farms etc. to provide electricity to the needed, expanding energy access is actually a challenge as the provision of electricity in these regions is interlinked with political, economic, social and institutional barriers affecting policy formulation. As interesting as it is to study the political economy of energy development in these regions, this situation is also very complex where a fit–it–all solution is not often present.
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
My personal side project that I am working now is to determine the potential for energy efficiency in island nations. Most islands are heavily dependent on fossil fuels and some have low electricity access rates. Energy efficiency can surely play a crucial role in energy planning and change the energy system dynamics in these countries.
What are your plans for the next five years?
Nothing is planned yet. I expect to find a job in a consultancy firm or research institute doing research on the critical issues surrounding global environment as a whole.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
My will to learn more maybe! This event is a wonderful opportunity for networking as it regroups a diverse audience working in different areas of the sustainability field.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
This will be my first time in Chicago and I am looking forward to exploring the city, cuisine, culture, and people.
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
Haha! I have spent little time around cats so don’t know much about them. Honestly, I am more of a dog person.