Rural Electrification Trajectories
40th IAEE International Conference, Singapore, June 18-21, 2017
Posted: 30 May 2019
Date Written: June 2017
Renewable-energy (RE)-based rural electrification is essential for achieving Sustainable Energy for All (S4All). According to the International Energy Agency’s 2016 World Energy Outlook, over 95% of the population who do not have access to electricity — about 16% of the global population — and without access to modern and clean cooking facilities — more than 38% of the global population — are predominantly in the rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. The welfare impact, measured in terms of social and economic benefits, of rural electrification has been widely discussed. But, despite some progress, the electrification rate is being outpaced by population growth in rural areas, in a large part due to a lack of financial viability of projects. In this paper, we explore the boundary conditions for RE-based on-grid, mini-grid and standalone rural-electrification solutions, focusing on the drivers of successful RE-based mini-grid development. By means of a diffusion modeling framework, the paper contributes an informed understanding on the potential rural electrification trajectories using mini-grid and, in so doing, highlights migi-grid scale-up and upscaling (connecting mini-grids to the grid) opportunities.
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