The economics of renewable energy expansion in rural Sub-Saharan Africa
AbstractAccelerating development in Sub-Saharan Africa will require massive expansion of access to electricity -- currently reaching only about one-third of households. This paper explores how essential economic development might be reconciled with the need to keep carbon emissions in check. The authors develop a geographically explicit framework and use spatial modeling and cost estimates from recent engineering studies to determine where stand-alone renewable energy generation is a cost effective alternative to centralized grid supply. The results suggest that decentralized renewable energy will likely play an important role in expanding rural energy access. But it will be the lowest cost option for a minority of households in Africa, even when likely cost reductions over the next 20 years are considered. Decentralized renewables are competitive mostly in remote and rural areas, while grid connected supply dominates denser areas where the majority of households reside. These findings underscore the need to de-carbonize the fuel mix for centralized power generation as it expands in Africa.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5193.
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Energy Production and Transportation; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Power&Energy Conversion; Carbon Policy and Trading;
Other versions of this item:
- Deichmann, Uwe & Meisner, Craig & Murray, Siobhan & Wheeler, David, 2011. "The economics of renewable energy expansion in rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 215-227, January.
- NEP-AFR-2010-04-17 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2010-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2010-04-17 (Development)
- NEP-ENE-2010-04-17 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2010-04-17 (Environmental Economics)
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