Publication detail

The costs of providing access to electricity in selected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and policy implications

Author(s): Mgr. Petra Valíčková PhD, Elms, Nicholas
Type: Articles in journals with impact factor
Year: 2021
Number: 148
ISSN / ISBN: 0301-4215
Published in: Energy Policy, ELSEVIER
Publishing place:
Keywords: Electricity access, Power sector modelling, Development, Sub-Saharan Africa
JEL codes: Q40, Q41, Q47, I3, O55
Suggested Citation: Valickova and Elms, 2021
Abstract: Access to reliable energy is recognised as a key driver of human and economic development. Despite this, today
only 45% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa has access to electricity. Sustainable Development Goal
number 7 calls for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for everyone. Yet, at the
current rate of progress, less than 60% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa will have access to electricity by
2030. In view of the urgent need to accelerate the rate at which electricity access is provided, we developed a
detailed least-cost optimisation model to identify the incremental costs of providing access for the group of 12
countries in the Southern African Power Pool. Our analysis shows that achieving universal access by 2030 in the
region, would lead to an incremental generation cost of between 5.2 and 11.4 US$2018 billion, depending on the
consumption of newly connected households. This corresponds to an increase of system generation costs by 4–8% and the levelized incremental cost of supply to the customer of 108–116 US$2018 per megawatt hour. This is
lower than what a typical household pays for poor alternatives to electricity, such as kerosene for lighting,
implying that policy makers should accelerate access.


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