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Evaluating the Impacts of Minigrid Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Ayhan, Sinem H.

    (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg)

  • Falchetta, Giacomo

    (IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)

  • Steckel, Jan C.

    (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC))


A large share of the population of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lacks access to modern energy services. To bridge the electricity access gap, distributed power generation systems such as minigrids and stand-alone photovoltaic systems emerge as attractive options in the power supply solution space. In this study, we analyze the impact of minigrid electrification on household welfare and agricultural development across SSA countries. The empirical analysis makes use of a novel geocoded database covering 1,888 minigrid projects from 27 SSA countries, which is merged with various data sources including satellite-based nighttime light data, vegetation health index, and Demographic and Health Surveys. Our results indicate that minigrid electrification is positively associated with households’ electricity uptake, ownership of low-power home appliances, and agricultural employment and productivity, while being effective in changing neither overall labor market outcomes nor the choice of cooking fuels.

Suggested Citation

  • Ayhan, Sinem H. & Falchetta, Giacomo & Steckel, Jan C., 2022. "Evaluating the Impacts of Minigrid Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 15466, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15466

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simone Tagliapietra & Giovanni Occhiali & Enrico Nano & Robert Kalcik, 2020. "The impact of electrification on labour market outcomes in Nigeria," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(3), pages 737-779, October.
    2. Gupta, Eshita, 2019. "The impact of solar water pumps on energy-water-food nexus: Evidence from Rajasthan, India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 598-609.
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    More about this item


    electricity access; minigrids; household welfare; agriculture; sub-Saharan Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania

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