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PhD Candidate (Université Grenoble Alpes)


Profile picture for user etienemi

Contact details

Building : IEP

Office : Grand open space


IEP de Grenoble, BP 48, 38040 Grenoble, cedex 9

Website :

URL site personnel

Social networks :


Sciences Po Grenoble, School of Political Studies

  • Methods conference in sociology; for 1st year students – in French (24h in 2022; 24h in 2023)
  • Sociological tools to grasp off-grid electrification in Africa; for Master students – in French (2h in 2022)


Master 2 "Transformative urban studies" (TRUST)

  • Disaster Risk Management and Governance – in English (9h in 2021 & 15h in 2022; 15h in 2023)
  • Social issues and urban transformations: inequalities, vulnerabilities, (in)formal city – in French (5h in 2021 & 5h in 2022)



  • Co-creation of a cross-disciplinary course "Anthropocene and planetary limits"; for 1st year students – in French (2h in 2021)
  • Technics and technologies for access to electricity; for Master students in economics – in French (1h in 2022; 2h in 2023)
Curriculum vitae

CV HAL link:


Between 2010 and 2020, I worked for NGOs and a social enterprise on energy, water and sanitation, and disaster risk management for urban and rural populations in Latin America, Asia and Africa. My interest in the future of these infrastructures and research in general led me to start a PhD in December 2020 to understand how development projects evolve over time.

My PhD is being carried out at the University of Grenoble-Alpes, under the supervision of Pascale Trompette, sociologist, and Sandrine Mathy, economist, respectively members of the PACTE and GAEL laboratories. Schneider Electric, through the Access to Energy team (Frédérick Choupin, Nicolas Plain) is sponsoring my work.

Working languages: French, Spanish, English and Portuguese


The future of solar projects: a socio-economic research on the autonomy of off-grid solutions in emerging countries


Pascale Trompette

External supervisor(s): 

Sandrine Mathy; GAEL


Solar mini-grids for rural electrification are burgeoning in Africa, supported by major international players, cooperation programmes and African States. Despite significant financial and technical commitments, the sustainability of these decentralized solutions is low. Based on the empirical study of a variety of mini-grid projects in Senegal and Kenya, I mobilize approaches at the crossroads of sociology of organizations, public policy analysis, management studies, to analyze public action and decentralized governance models around the construction of reliable access to energy. The concept of accountability, i.e. the obligation to explain and justify one's conduct (Bovens, 2007), leads me to analyze the interactions of actors of different scales around the maintenance of socio-technical systems, by questioning their responsibilities, information flows, sanctions and incentives.


Journal articles

Reliability and accountability of off-grid solar electricity in Senegal
Emilie Etienne
Flux - Cahiers scientifiques internationaux Réseaux et territoires, 2022, 2022/3-4 (129-130), pp.59-75. ⟨10.3917/flux1.129.0059⟩

Conference papers

Sizing rural isolated mini-grids in Africa: beyond technical and economic calculations, how does sizing crystallize regulatory, financial and institutional uncertain constraints?
Théo Chamarande, Emilie Etienne, Sandrine Mathy
Governing Renewable Energy Rollouts in Financially Constrained Contexts, Nov 2022, University of Stavanger, Norway

Book sections

At the Margins of the Grid: The Politics of Off-Grid Electrification in Senegal
PASCALE TROMPETTE, Emilie Etienne, Rhosnie Francius
Nathanael Ojong. Off-Grid Solar Electrification in Africa, Springer International Publishing, pp.65-110, 2022, Energy, Climate and the Environment, 978-3-031-13825-6. ⟨10.1007/978-3-031-13825-6_3⟩
Informations complémentaires
  • Elected member of the laboratory Pacte council since 2021
  • Member of the committee “Ecological transitions” in Pacte
  • Member of the Latin-American research group « Transitions LA&C »


Chamarande Théo, Etienne Emilie, Mathy Sandrine. « Sizing rural isolated mini-grids in Africa: beyond technical and economic calculations, how does sizing crystallize regulatory, financial and institutional uncertain constraints? ». Workshop Governing Renewable Energy Rollouts in Financially Constrained Contexts, Stavanger, Norway, 2022.

Etienne Emilie, Robert Pierre. « Pérennité et impact des projets d’électrification rurale décentralisée au Sénégal : quels résultats 7 ans après ? ». XXXVIIème Journées du développement de l'Association Tiers-Monde ; Brest, France, 2022.

Etienne Emilie. « Le dernier maillon de l’électricité marchande : les gestionnaires villageois africains aux prises à des loyautés en tension ». Journées doctorales « Regards critiques sur le développement » ; Aubervilliers, France, 2022.

Etienne Emilie. « La maintenance des mini-réseaux solaires au Sénégal, un enjeu d’accountability balbutiant ». Journée doctorale; 11ème congrès de l’Association Française d’Economie Politique (AFEP) ; Amiens, France, 2022.

Etienne, Emilie. « The future of solar projects: a socio-economic research on the autonomy of off-grid solutions in emerging countries ». Colloque international des doctorants, COP 21: 5 ans après. Organised by the association « Sorbonne Développement Durable » (SDD) and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Online, 2021.


Presentations within research laboratories and networks: Pacte (UGA) (2021, 2022, 2023) ; Grenoble Applied Economy Laboratory (GAEL) (UGA) (2021),  Institute of Environmental Geosciences (UGA) (2022) ; Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, University of Stavanger – Norway (2022) ; Nuvoni Centre for Innovation Research – Kenya (2022); Observatory of Energy Transitions (2023).


Science outreach in non-academic spheres:



  • Résultats préliminaires de l'enquête au Sénégal. Presentation to NGOs Plan International & Acra
  • Les marchés de l’électrification hors-réseau dans les Suds : de l’expérimentation au passage à l’échelle (avec Pascale Trompette). Conferences PT GREEN / Observatoire de la Transition Energétique
  • Le devenir des mini-reseaux solaires en Afrique. Breakfast on mini-grids business models, organized by Fondem
  • Design et devenir des mini-reseaux solaires en Afrique. Meeting of the project "Scholar grid", organized by Schneider Electric.


  • Encuentros de Saberes; Usos innovadores de la energía solar. Organisé par le PNUD et Helvetas.
  • "Eletrificação em regiões remotas da Amazônia Legal: sustentabilidade das instalações e papel das comunidades no contexto do Programa Mais Luz para a Amazônia". Organisé par IDEC.

Link to my blog on sustainability, available in French and in English.

Submitted on November 21, 2023

Updated on November 21, 2023