Evaluating the Impacts of Minigrid Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa

47 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2022

See all articles by Sinem Ayhan

Sinem Ayhan

IZA

Giacomo Falchetta

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Jan Christoph Steckel

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

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Abstract

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.

Keywords: electricity access, minigrids, household welfare, agriculture, sub-Saharan Africa

JEL Classification: O13, J43, Q01, Q42, N57

Suggested Citation

Ayhan, Sinem and Falchetta, Giacomo and Steckel, Jan Christoph, Evaluating the Impacts of Minigrid Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15466, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4188277 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4188277

Giacomo Falchetta

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

Jan Christoph Steckel

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

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