The economics of renewable energy expansion in rural Sub-Saharan Africa
Accelerating 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. We 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. Our results suggest that decentralized renewable energy will likely play an important role in expanding rural energy access. However, 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 decarbonize the fuel mix for centralized power generation as it expands in Africa.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kevin Ummel & David Wheeler, 2008. "Desert Power: The Economics of Solar Thermal Electricity for Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East," Working Papers 156, Center for Global Development.
- Martinez, Daniel M. & Ebenhack, Ben W., 2008. "Understanding the role of energy consumption in human development through the use of saturation phenomena," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1430-1435, April.
- Buys, Piet & Deichmann, Uwe & Meisner, Craig & Ton-That, Thao & Wheeler, David, 2007.
"Country stakes in climate change negotiations : two dimensions of vulnerability,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4300, The World Bank.
- Piet Buys & Uwe Deichmann & Craig Meisner & Thao Ton That & David Wheeler, 2009. "Country stakes in climate change negotiations: two dimensions of vulnerability," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 288-305, May.
- Parshall, Lily & Pillai, Dana & Mohan, Shashank & Sanoh, Aly & Modi, Vijay, 2009. "National electricity planning in settings with low pre-existing grid coverage: Development of a spatial model and case study of Kenya," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2395-2410, June.
- Klose, Andreas & Drexl, Andreas, 2005. "Facility location models for distribution system design," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 162(1), pages 4-29, April.
- Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003.
"The Evolution of City Size Distributions,"
Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University
0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Kebede, Ellene & Kagochi, John & Jolly, Curtis M., 2010. "Energy consumption and economic development in Sub-Sahara Africa," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 532-537, May.
- Khandker, Shahidur R. & Barnes, Douglas F. & Samad, Hussain A., 2009. "Welfare impacts of rural electrification : a case study from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4859, The World Bank.
- Neij, Lena, 2008. "Cost development of future technologies for power generation--A study based on experience curves and complementary bottom-up assessments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2200-2211, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:215-227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.