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Energy PovertyGlobal Challenges and Local Solutions$
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Antoine Halff, Benjamin K. Sovacool, and Jon Rozhon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682362.001.0001

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Alleviating Energy Poverty in Africa

Alleviating Energy Poverty in Africa

A Story of Leapfrogging, Localizing, and Fast-Tracking

Chapter:
(p.441) 21 Alleviating Energy Poverty in Africa
Source:
Energy Poverty
Author(s):

Leila Benali

Andy Barrett

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682362.003.0022

Conundrums abound in the history of electricity development in Africa, due to paradigms embedded in developed economies and misalignments between community, industry, and national interests. The energy–economy–environment ‘trilemma’ and the competition between energy and food compound the complexity of applying limited subsidies while stimulating investment. Attempts to mobilize large-scale funding for country-wide electrification programmes have largely failed. Rather, we propose that tailored technology deployment, scaling local business models, and fast-tracking will be key. Community ownership and clustering of production are examples of the toolset needed. Governments should focus on creating supportive regulatory environments, allowing fuel and technology flexibility, facilitating financing for small scale projects, and providing clear pricing expectations. Planners should ‘leapfrog’ from the paradigm of large-scale integrated focus towards (micro-) grids optimized for distributed generation. Reliability can be substantially improved with ‘smart’ software. The industry needs to enable twenty-first-century technologies to penetrate nineteenth-century markets without using twentieth-century-type infrastructure.

Keywords:   localization, fast-tracking, leap-frogging, micro-grids, scaling, technology, smart, distributed generation, clustering

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