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Off-grid Solar PV: Is it an affordable or an appropriate solution for rural electrification in sub-Saharan African countries?

Listed author(s):
  • Glenn P. Jenkins

    ()

    (Queen’s University, Canada and Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus)

  • Saule Baurzhan

    ()

    (Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus)

In this paper the feasibility of off-grid solar PV systems in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) is analysed focusing on five major issues in the context of falling system costs: cost-effectiveness, affordability, financing, environmental impact, and poverty alleviation. Solar PV systems are found to be an extremely costly source of electricity for the rural poor in SSA. It is estimated that it will take at least 16.8 years for solar PV systems to become competitive with small diesel generators. The cost of reducing CO2 emissions through solar PV electrification is far in excess of the estimated marginal economic cost of CO2.

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File URL: http://www.queensjdiexec.org/publications/qed_dp_269.pdf
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Paper provided by JDI Executive Programs in its series Development Discussion Papers with number 2014-07.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:qed:dpaper:269
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  1. Michael Greenstone & Elizabeth Kopits & Ann Wolverton, 2011. "Estimating the Social Cost of Carbon for Use in U.S. Federal Rulemakings: A Summary and Interpretation," Working Papers 1106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  2. Eberhard, Anton & Shkaratan, Maria, 2012. "Powering Africa: Meeting the financing and reform challenges," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 9-18.
  3. Foster, Vivien & Steinbuks, Jevgenijs, 2009. "Paying the price for unreliable power supplies : in-house generation of electricity by firms in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4913, The World Bank.
  4. Mulugetta, Yacob & Nhete, Tinashe & Jackson, Tim, 2000. "Photovoltaics in Zimbabwe: lessons from the GEF Solar project," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(14), pages 1069-1080, November.
  5. Karekezi, Stephen & Kithyoma, Waeni, 2002. "Renewable energy strategies for rural Africa: is a PV-led renewable energy strategy the right approach for providing modern energy to the rural poor of sub-Saharan Africa?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(11-12), pages 1071-1086, September.
  6. Wamukonya, Njeri, 2007. "Solar home system electrification as a viable technology option for Africa's development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 6-14, January.
  7. Bazilian, Morgan & Onyeji, Ijeoma & Liebreich, Michael & MacGill, Ian & Chase, Jennifer & Shah, Jigar & Gielen, Dolf & Arent, Doug & Landfear, Doug & Zhengrong, Shi, 2013. "Re-considering the economics of photovoltaic power," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 329-338.
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