UrbanHIT – Urban Heterogeneity and Infrastructure Transitions


New article published on the dynamic qualities and diversity of energy access in Maputo

Mobilizing heterogeneity: understanding the dynamic qualities and diversity of energy access in Maputo

Significant steps have been made to expand grid-level electricity access in Maputo, Mozambique. Simultaneously, research highlights the emergence of alternative socio-technical infrastructures that often run parallel or complementary to centralized electricity networks. Approaching energy access across such technologies and practices is crucial to understand the challenge of energy access even in cities where grid connectivity is high. Recently, the concept of heterogeneity has emerged to describe such diverse infrastructural realities. Through 62 household interviews, this article examines the heterogeneity of energy access in Maputo. It contends that heterogeneity is a dynamic landscape of practices and strategies that interface with contested political ideals. By approaching heterogeneity as a cross-cutting dynamic, qualities of sustainable energy access such as increased security, autonomy, and the preservation of valued livelihoods become apparent. It is contended that such qualities offer reference points to better evaluate the sustainability of heterogeneous energy access and guide more coordinated energy governance.

This article can be accessed openly here.