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Promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Africa: A Framework to Evaluate Employment Generation and Cost-effectiveness

Author

Listed:
  • Cantore, Nicola
  • Nussbaumer, Patrick
  • Wei, Max
  • Kammen, Daniel

Abstract

The ongoing debate over the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) deployment often hinges on the current cost of incumbent fossil-fuel technologies versus the long-term benefit of clean energy alternatives. This debate is often focused on mature or ‘industrialized’ economies and externalities such as job creation. In many ways, however, the situation in developing economies is at least as or even more interesting due to the generally faster current rate of economic growth and of infrastructure deployment. On the one hand, RE and EE could help decarbonize economies in developing countries, but on the other hand, higher upfront costs of RE and EE could hamper short-term growth. The methodology developed in this paper confirms the existence of this trade-off for some scenarios, yet at the same time provides considerable evidence about the positive impact of EE and RE from a job creation and employment perspective. By extending and adopting a methodology for Africa designed to calculate employment from electricity generation in the U.S., this study finds that energy savings and the conversion of the electricity supply mix to renewable energy generates employment compared to a reference scenario. It also concludes that the costs per additional job created tend to decrease with increasing levels of both EE adoption and RE shares.

Suggested Citation

  • Cantore, Nicola & Nussbaumer, Patrick & Wei, Max & Kammen, Daniel, 2016. "Promoting Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Africa: A Framework to Evaluate Employment Generation and Cost-effectiveness," ESP: Energy Scenarios and Policy 240751, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemes:240751
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.240751
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/240751/files/NDL2016-045.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Pollin & James Heintz & Heidi Garrett-Peltier, 2009. "The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy: How the Economic Stimulus Program and New Legislation Can Boost U.S. Economic Growth and Employment," Published Studies economic_benefits, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    2. Bosetti, Valentina & Marangoni, Giacomo & Borgonovo, Emanuele & Diaz Anadon, Laura & Barron, Robert & McJeon, Haewon C. & Politis, Savvas & Friley, Paul, 2015. "Sensitivity to energy technology costs: A multi-model comparison analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 244-263.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • N77 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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