Research Scientist , MIT Energy Initiative & Tata Center for Technology and Design
Reja Amatya is a Research Scientist at MIT’s Tata Center for Technology + Design where she leads two projects that focus on rural electrification in India. She knows that technology won’t be useful if it is developed in a vacuum.“Understanding context has become far more important, so the engineering solutions that are coming up now will be far more useable than some developed in the past,” says Reja.
Much of Reja’s current work involves determining the right balance between grid extension and off-grid electricity supply. “In my view there has to be parallel growth between grid and off grid,” she says. The big issue for those on the ground, though, is time. “If you ask me how it should look 50 years from now, I’d say grid extension with lots of distributed renewable generation assets. But when we’re talking about energy access right now, purely grid extension is not going to do it in developing countries,” Reja says.