Clean energy transitions and human well-being outcomes in Lower and Middle Income Countries: A systematic review

Chuan Liao, James T. Erbaugh, Allison C. Kelly, Arun Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Clean energy promises a wide range of individual and collective benefits. Though there is substantial research on the benefits of clean energy for specific populations, systematic assessments on household level outcomes resulting from clean energy adoption remain limited, especially for Lower and Middle Income Countries (L&MICs). Limited systematic knowledge about clean energy transitions hinders conceptual development and effective policies for improved access to, and more widespread adoption of, clean energy. In this research, we review 107 peer-reviewed articles to examine systematically household energy transitions in L&MICs. We consider factors that have a potential causal impact and identify associations between clean energy adoption and household well-being. We find substantial variation in energy transition pathways across L&MICs. Higher levels of household education, incomes, asset holdings, and the presence of credit and subsidy programs are associated with clean energy adoption, and such adoption likely facilitates a suite of socioeconomic benefits. Our review thus advances knowledge about the mechanisms for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 and promoting greater human well-being through clean energy adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111063
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Clean energy transition
  • Energy portfolio
  • Global south
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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