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A longitudinal study of electricity consumption growth in Kenya

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Abstract

During the past 5 years, electrification in Kenya has grown by more than 30% due primarily to increases in grid penetration and solar home systems. This represents a way forward for governments, international finance institutions, and entrepreneurs to address some of the challenges of energy access. However, little is understood about how consumption has evolved among these newly-electrified customers. In this paper, we address this by conducting a longitudinal analysis for 136k utility customers across Kenya over six years of electricity bills, uncovering critical trends in spatio-temporal evolution of electricity consumption. Our analysis reveals that recently-electrified customers are reaching their steady-state consumption more quickly than previous customers, that the steady-state is increasingly less, and that typical urban and peri-urban customers tend to consume 50% more electricity than rural customers. In addition we present implications for policymakers and electricity planners considering grid extension and distributed systems for improving electrification.

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... However, the strategy does not take into account the differences in consumption growth among customers. For instance, a better understanding of customers' electricity consumption behavior before connecting them can result in fewer underutilized grid connections that can be used to connect more customers [7]. Thus, the electrification strategy may miss estimate the likely near-term energy demand. ...
... The research conducted by [7] and [20] based on data-driven approaches aims at understanding diverse Kenya Power (national utility) customer behavior to improve electricity access planning. This study takes a similar approach by conducting an exploratory analysis of historical residential electricity consumption aiming to improve access to electricity planning. ...
... The reduction in consumption may be due to the energy efficiency of customers. This possible explanation is supported by the analysis conducted by [7] for 136k utility residential customers across Kenya from 2010 through 2015. In addition, [22] found that over the 2007-2012 periods, increased energy efficiency appear to be the most important contributor to decreased electricity growth rates in the United State. ...
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Article
Electrical energy plays a vital role in daily life. The developing world is making good progress in improving access to electricity toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goals number 7 through better energy planning. Understanding energy consumption growth remains a fundamental aspect of energy planning. This study aimed to investigate the dynamic of electricity consumption growth in Togo. The analysis uses a data-driven approach to determine the relationship between average electricity consumption and the electrification rate. As a result of this study, the average electricity consumption per connection decreases as the electrification rate increases. This gives utility and the government insights regarding electricity access planning. Since the average consumption is decreasing, low consumers can be aggregated on the same transformer. Also, off-grid solutions are suitable for areas located far away from the grid connection. Using these findings, the utility may reduce costs related to grid extension.
... However, the strategy does not take into account the differences in consumption growth among customers. For instance, a better understanding of customers' electricity consumption behavior before connecting them can result in fewer underutilized grid connections that can be used to connect more customers [7]. Thus, the electrification strategy may miss estimate the likely near-term energy demand. ...
... The research conducted by [7] and [20] based on data-driven approaches aims at understanding diverse Kenya Power (national utility) customer behavior to improve electricity access planning. This study takes a similar approach by conducting an exploratory analysis of historical residential electricity consumption aiming to improve access to electricity planning. ...
... The reduction in consumption may be due to the energy efficiency of customers. This possible explanation is supported by the analysis conducted by [7] for 136k utility residential customers across Kenya from 2010 through 2015. In addition, [22] found that over the 2007-2012 periods, increased energy efficiency appear to be the most important contributor to decreased electricity growth rates in the United State. ...
... To estimate electricity sales revenues, forecast demand over the system life cycle is multiplied by a volumetric (per kWh) tariff. Historical consumption data from Kenya Power are used to build demand forecasting models [14]. We make the assumption that the tariff levels are the same for grid connected customers and for minigrid connected customers. ...
... We use historical electricity consumption data from customers in rural Kenya as described in Fobi et al. [14] to construct a demand forecasting model. Figure 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t would evolve over time. ...
... These are more than triple what a customer needs to use if served by mini-grid, which is 98 kWh/month. For perspective, the median monthly consumption for highest consuming rural customers is 34 kWh/month [14]. We further evaluated 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 A c c e p t e d M a n u s c r i p t the tariff level that would ensure that the utility would recover costs fully over the modelling horizon, at the current consumption level and unchanging generation cost. ...
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Article
A global push to achieve universal electricity access, paired with drastic reductions in the cost of decentralized electricity technologies, has led to significant research on how best to roll out access to rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Various geospatial electrification models have been developed to aid the decision-making process considering decentralized grid alternatives such as mini-grids and solar home systems. Despite these tools suggesting that in many cases, decentralized systems are a more cost-effective electricity access pathway, grid extension still predominates in practice. This is due, at least in part, to institutional structures in most countries that provide significant direct and indirect subsidies to grid extension projects, commonly through publicly-owned utilities. These sources of finance are generally not available to primarily privately operated off-grid energy service providers. However, the subsidy provided for grid extension projects is not well understood. In this paper, we employ utility grid extension costs and revenue data, and geospatial grid infrastructure data to estimate the size and distribution of subsidy implicitly provided to rural grid extension projects for 129 communities in Mombasa County, Kenya. We also estimate subsidies for hypothetical off-grid electricity systems in the same communities that would deliver equivalent services to the grid. We allocate the cost of shared \DIFdelbegin \DIFdel{MV }\DIFdelend \DIFaddbegin \DIFadd{medium voltage (MV) distribution }\DIFaddend infrastructure using a marginal and an average cost method for grid extension and compare these with subsidies for off-grid systems. We find that the average of average subsidy per customer across communities for grid extension is US\$5,118 and US\$5,330 for the two MV cost allocation methods respectively, while for the off-grid systems the corresponding average of average subsidies are US\$3,380, using a real discount rate of 1.3\% evaluated from a nominal discount rate of 8\% and inflation rate of 6.7\%. Our results show that in the communities in our case study, 40\% and 37\% of the communities would command less subsidy while served by minigrids over the grid, and the switch would save 50\% and 54\% of the total cost for average and marginal cost allocation methods respectively. We also show that by using a multi-model approach to electrification and by reallocation of implicit subsidies that have been exclusive to grid extension to other technology options utilities can cast the net wider, without an increase in budgets.
... As such, the sustainability of such MG business models relies on achieving target levels of use by connected customers. However, electricity consumption data from both grid and MG connections shows a troubling pattern of persistently low electricity demand as electricity reaches deeper into rural Africa (Fobi et al., 2018;Williams et al., 2017). Utility operators and MG developers face a similar challenge: how to encourage new customers to consume, and pay for, more electricity? ...
... Third, in the specific case of MGs, the cost of unsubsidized electricity may simply be too expensive. While the marginal cost of grid electricity is a fraction of that for MG electricity (Pueyo and DeMartino, 2018), similar trends of stagnating growth in demand have been observed with grid customers (Fobi et al., 2018). This list is by no means exhaustive. ...
... These findings are relevant beyond the mini-grid sector. Grid operators in sub-Saharan Africa also struggle with low consumption in rural areas that, combined with high infrastructure costs per connection, result in significant financial losses (Fobi et al., 2018). Low levels of electricity use also suggest that public funds invested in grid extension may not be achieving significant economic development gains, at least in the short term. ...
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Article
Solar mini-grids are a key element in strategies to achieve universal access to modern energy by 2030. In many settings mini-grids offer a combination of affordability, reliability, and capacity for productive use of power, moreso than most solar home systems and some central grids. Yet the economic sustainability of mini-grids relies on achieving target usage levels, and consumption data to date suggest that they may be commercially unsustainable due to consistently low demand for power once installed—and that newly-connected recipients cannot take full advantage of access. Using a uniquely fine-grained data set spanning 29 villages in East Africa, we test whether credit constraints and the cost of electricity hinder demand growth among mini-grid-connected households. We find that households that purchased appliances under a financing program increased consumption by up to 66 percent compared to matched controls, though a sensitivity analysis suggests this estimate is rather sensitive to bias from unobservable characteristics, and the increase is not sustained. While most customers in the program do not repay loans in full, we find that on average, customers repay about 78 percent of the loan amount. When we analyze developers’ return on investment, we find that the profitability of appliance financing programs at a market cost of capital, similar to those evaluated in this study, depends substantially on the types of appliances on offer. For the tariff subsidy program, we find that lowering the cost of electricity by up to 75 percent substantially increased consumption, albeit with mixed signals for whether overall revenue could be maintained at a lower tariff.
... Kenya has structured its energy policy in a way that favors high penetration of RE in order to meet its energy demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Oluoch et al., 2021). Although the country's energy policy has recently endeavored to increase RE share in order to face the growing energy demand (Fobi et al., 2018;Moner-Girona et al., 2019), its focus on technoeconomic aspects may lead to non-sustainability. The public involvement is neglected in most developing countries when planning new energy projects (Oluoch et al., 2020). ...
... Many previous studies were conducted in Kenya to evaluate Kenyan energy planning scenarios. However, most of them have analyzed the technical aspect such as dynamic power consumption (Fobi et al., 2018) and demand forecasting (Lahmeyer International, 2016;Mbae and Nwulu, 2020;Otieno et al., 2018), the techno-environmental aspect such as low carbon capacity expansion (Carvallo et al., 2017;Kehbila et al., 2021), the technoeconomic electricity expansion aspect (Moksnes et al., 2020;Moner-Girona et al., 2019) and economic, techno-environmental electricity expansion aspect (Musonye et al., 2021). ...
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Article
Kenya expects a high growth in energy demand due to its high demographic and economic growth as well as increasing industrialization. In that regard, the government of Kenya has already shown interest to expand its power supply which includes coal-fired power plants. However, many previous studies conducted to evaluate the Kenyan energy planning scenarios were limited to technical aspect such as dynamic power consumption and demand forecasting; techno-environmental aspect such as low carbon capacity expansion; techno-economic electricity expansion aspect and economic, techno-environmental electricity expansion aspect. The concern of evaluating all the potential Kenyan power options against sustainability dimensions as a whole was not addressed since selecting power technology options has become a multidimensional problem. Therefore, this study aimed at prioritizing Kenyan power technology options using sustainable dimensions: Economic, Social, Environmental and Technical. This research applied Multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) method which is an interesting tool able to bring together several variables to handle a decision making problem. Hence, energy options were evaluated against the four sustainable dimensions (Economic, Social, Environmental and Technical) combining 17 energy indicators and a hybrid AHP–TOPSIS technique was used for that purpose. Results showed that Solar PV and Wind are the most promising technologies in Kenya. Although CSP has not been privileged by Kenyan policymakers, it ranks among the first-three promising technologies, except for economic scenario raking this option the last. Five different analyzed scenarios (Economic privileged, Technical privileged, Environmental privileged, Social privileged, Equal importance) showed the robustness of Solar PV in the all sustainable dimensions. This study has provided a critical policy contribution to the Kenyan government and energy projects investors by solving the dilemma of technologies prioritization in capacity expansion.
... Energy providers, constrained by limited investment budgets, face a perpetual trade-off between expanding electricity access and cost recovery. When consumption levels are low, as can occur in low-income settings, utilities struggle to recover the cost of servicing a grid connection, and the government subsidies [12] for initial capital are poorly utilized. Alternatives to grid extension such as Solar Home Systems (SHS) can support smaller loads without the large wire investments, while in some cases clustered homes (with clusters far from each other) can make mini-grids viable [13]. ...
... Previously [12], we conducted a longitudinal study of 100k+ randomly sampled electrified households, observing that median customers in Kenya typically reach a consistent level of electricity consumption roughly 12 months after receiving an electricity connection. Given this observation, we define the average monthly consumption of a household after 12 months of a connection as the expected stable electricity consumption. ...
Preprint
In low-income settings, the most critical piece of information for electric utilities is the anticipated consumption of a customer. Electricity consumption assessment is difficult to do in settings where a significant fraction of households do not yet have an electricity connection. In such settings the absolute levels of anticipated consumption can range from 5-100 kWh/month, leading to high variability amongst these customers. Precious resources are at stake if a significant fraction of low consumers are connected over those with higher consumption. This is the first study of it's kind in low-income settings that attempts to predict a building's consumption and not that of an aggregate administrative area. We train a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) over pre-electrification daytime satellite imagery with a sample of utility bills from 20,000 geo-referenced electricity customers in Kenya (0.01% of Kenya's residential customers). This is made possible with a two-stage approach that uses a novel building segmentation approach to leverage much larger volumes of no-cost satellite imagery to make the most of scarce and expensive customer data. Our method shows that competitive accuracies can be achieved at the building level, addressing the challenge of consumption variability. This work shows that the building's characteristics and it's surrounding context are both important in predicting consumption levels. We also evaluate the addition of lower resolution geospatial datasets into the training process, including nighttime lights and census-derived data. The results are already helping inform site selection and distribution-level planning, through granular predictions at the level of individual structures in Kenya and there is no reason this cannot be extended to other countries.
... Another tool developed in a partnership of five universities is the Electricity Growth and Use in Developing Economies (e-GUIDE), which focuses on macro scale consumption and infrastructure. e-GUIDE integrates satellite imagery and longitudinal consumption data to predict the demand on a national scale [12]. ...
... Data collection at the healthcare facility level in a low-resource context is logistically challenging hence a limiting factor in statistical inference and model accuracy and performance due to small sample sizes and a lack of representative samples with respect to possible variations in the population. Most of the energy access models, including the state-of-the-art planning tools as well as ad hoc studies either integrate satellite imagery with governmental or macroscale data from governments, and/or multilateral organizations (e.g., [11,12]), or use categorical evaluations (e.g., [4,18]). The methodology developed in the DREAM tool enables researchers to collect HCF level data that capture the realities of each HCF in a relatively large sample size through the application of cloud-based data collection. ...
Full-text available
Article
This study presents a multi-platform analysis for accelerating the deployment of distributed renewable energy (DRE) systems for the electrification of healthcare facilities (HCFs) in low-income regions. While existing tools capture national and regional scale planning for DRE deployment in HCFs, there are limited tools for facility level energy needs and no existing data-driven approach for systematic decision-making and resource allocation across a portfolio of HCFs. We address this gap by utilizing decentralized data collection, and multi-criteria decision-making to evaluate each HCF against a set of weighted decision criteria. We applied the approach presented in this research in a case study across 56 HCF in Uganda. Results present current and future energy needs for each individual clinic and the prioritization of HCFs for allocation of resources for DRE deployment. Additionally, results provide insight for best practices for reliability of services that are specific to each HCF. For example, failures in the existing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are approximately up to 60% due to a lack of proper operation and management (O&M) strategy, and 40% is attributable to improper system design and installation. Thus, this study enables decision-makers to better understand the electrification needs of different HCFs, prioritize DRE deployment, financial investments, cost-effective procurement, and long-term O&M.
... However, of even more concern is the fact that even among those with access to electricity, a vast distribution across access quality tiers exists (Falchetta et al. 2020). For example, in some countries, where rapid growth in electricity access has been reported (e.g., Kenya), the estimated final use among newly electrified households remains very limited and is growing very slowly (Fobi et al. 2018). Such low levels of use suggest that people have not moved beyond subsistence use for lighting and phone charging to levels of demand that provide a means of livelihood through productive uses, enhanced employment, education, and income earning opportunities. ...
... • Monitoring, tracking, estimation, and reporting of multiple access dimensions and latent demand. Recent efforts have used satellite datasets and mobile phones to estimate road quality (Cadamuro et al. 2019), electricity supply outages (Correa et al. 2018), and latent demand for electricity (Fobi et al. 2018, Falchetta et al. 2020). ...
... However, of even more concern is the fact that even among those with access to electricity, a vast distribution across access quality tiers exists (Falchetta et al. 2020). For example, in some countries, where rapid growth in electricity access has been reported (e.g., Kenya), the estimated final use among newly electrified households remains very limited and is growing very slowly (Fobi et al. 2018). Such low levels of use suggest that people have not moved beyond subsistence use for lighting and phone charging to levels of demand that provide a means of livelihood through productive uses, enhanced employment, education, and income earning opportunities. ...
... • Monitoring, tracking, estimation, and reporting of multiple access dimensions and latent demand. Recent efforts have used satellite datasets and mobile phones to estimate road quality (Cadamuro et al. 2019), electricity supply outages (Correa et al. 2018), and latent demand for electricity (Fobi et al. 2018, Falchetta et al. 2020). ...
... However, of even more concern is the fact that even among those with access to electricity, a vast distribution across access quality tiers exists (Falchetta et al. 2020). For example, in some countries, where rapid growth in electricity access has been reported (e.g., Kenya), the estimated final use among newly electrified households remains very limited and is growing very slowly (Fobi et al. 2018). Such low levels of use suggest that people have not moved beyond subsistence use for lighting and phone charging to levels of demand that provide a means of livelihood through productive uses, enhanced employment, education, and income earning opportunities. ...
... • Monitoring, tracking, estimation, and reporting of multiple access dimensions and latent demand. Recent efforts have used satellite datasets and mobile phones to estimate road quality (Cadamuro et al. 2019), electricity supply outages (Correa et al. 2018), and latent demand for electricity (Fobi et al. 2018, Falchetta et al. 2020). ...
Full-text available
Technical Report
Innovations for Sustainability: Pathways to an efficient and sufficient post-pandemic future, assesses all the positive potential benefits innovation brings to sustainable development for all, while also highlighting the potential negative impacts and challenges going forward. The report outlines strategies to harness innovation for sustainability by focusing on efficiency and sufficiency in providing services to people, with a particular focus on consumption and production. It concludes with the related governance challenges and policy implications. Innovation has been the foundation of human and societal development since the dawn of civilization. It has resulted in enormous benefits for human wellbeing while at the same time is has brought the world to a critical crossroads where further unconstrained development risks societal and environmental collapse. The current rate and direction of innovation is insufficient to achieve the United Nation’s (UN) ambitious goals for an inclusive sustainable future for all, in part because of a relatively narrow focus on technology innovation without also addressing societal, institutional, and cultural innovation. We need to rebalance so that all dimensions of innovation and invention are promoted simultaneously, including addressing inequities. We also need to develop more proactive efforts to promote diffusion and learning and to address barriers, constraints, and unintended consequences of innovations. We live in interesting times. They are times of great dangers and uncertainty for humanity and the planet, but times of unprecedented opportunities for directing development toward a just, resilient, and sustainable future. The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting the status quo, providing an opportunity to create sustainable societies with higher levels of wellbeing for all and mitigating environmental impacts at all scales. Properly directed, the stimulus packages underway to restart economies can ignite and leverage effects toward sustainability. The risk is that they may promote the resurrection of the ‘old normal,’ going back to business-as-usual, rather than a transformation toward sustainability. This report, which focuses on innovation, is the third by The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative that was established by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and other partners to provide scientific foundations for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report is based on the voluntary and collaborative effort of more than 60 authors and contributors from about 20 institutions globally, who met virtually to develop science-based strategies and pathways toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Presentations of the TWI2050 approach and work have been made at many international conferences such as the United Nations Science, Technology and Innovation Forums and the United Nations High-level Political Forums.
... However, of even more concern is the fact that even among those with access to electricity, a vast distribution across access quality tiers exists (Falchetta et al. 2020). For example, in some countries, where rapid growth in electricity access has been reported (e.g., Kenya), the estimated final use among newly electrified households remains very limited and is growing very slowly (Fobi et al. 2018). Such low levels of use suggest that people have not moved beyond subsistence use for lighting and phone charging to levels of demand that provide a means of livelihood through productive uses, enhanced employment, education, and income earning opportunities. ...
... • Monitoring, tracking, estimation, and reporting of multiple access dimensions and latent demand. Recent efforts have used satellite datasets and mobile phones to estimate road quality (Cadamuro et al. 2019), electricity supply outages (Correa et al. 2018), and latent demand for electricity (Fobi et al. 2018, Falchetta et al. 2020). ...
... However, of even more concern is the fact that even among those with access to electricity, a vast distribution across access quality tiers exists (Falchetta et al. 2020). For example, in some countries, where rapid growth in electricity access has been reported (e.g., Kenya), the estimated final use among newly electrified households remains very limited and is growing very slowly (Fobi et al. 2018). Such low levels of use suggest that people have not moved beyond subsistence use for lighting and phone charging to levels of demand that provide a means of livelihood through productive uses, enhanced employment, education, and income earning opportunities. ...
... • Monitoring, tracking, estimation, and reporting of multiple access dimensions and latent demand. Recent efforts have used satellite datasets and mobile phones to estimate road quality (Cadamuro et al. 2019), electricity supply outages (Correa et al. 2018), and latent demand for electricity (Fobi et al. 2018, Falchetta et al. 2020). ...
Full-text available
Technical Report
Innovation has been the foundation of human and societal development since the dawn of civilization. It has resulted in enormous benefits for human wellbeing while at the same time is has brought the world to a critical crossroads where further unconstrained development risks societal and environmental collapse. The current rate and direction of innovation is insufficient to achieve the United Nation’s (UN) ambitious goals for an inclusive sustainable future for all, in part because of a relatively narrow focus on technology innovation without also addressing societal, institutional, and cultural innovation. We need to rebalance so that all dimensions of innovation and invention are promoted simultaneously, including addressing inequities. We also need to develop more proactive efforts to promote diffusion and learning, and to address barriers, constraints, and unintended consequences of innovations. We live in interesting times. They are times of great dangers and uncertainty for humanity and the planet, but times of unprecedented opportunities for directing development toward a just, resilient, and sustainable future. The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting the status quo, providing an opportunity to create sustainable societies with higher levels of wellbeing for all and mitigating environmental impacts at all scales. Properly directed, the stimulus packages underway to restart economies can ignite and leverage effects toward sustainability. The risk is that they may promote resurrection of the ‘old normal,’ going back to business-as-usual, rather than a transformation toward sustainability. This report, which focuses on innovation, is the third by The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative that was established by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and other partners to provide scientific foundations for the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report is based on the voluntary and collaborative effort of more than 60 authors and contributors from about 20 institutions globally, who met virtually to develop science-based strategies and pathways toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Presentations of the TWI2050 approach and work have been made at many international conferences such as the United Nations Science, Technology and Innovation Forums and the United Nations High-level Political Forums.
... Tracking of energy poverty and access has generally been carried out through household surveys administered by national governments and international organizations. Satellite-based NTL data can serve as a proxy for electricity access to support electrification planning, complementing traditional survey methods (see example in Figure 4) (Min et al., 2013;Burlig and Preonas, 2016;Dugoua et al., 2017;Fobi et al., 2018;Avtar et al., 2019). These data are often combined with data on population density and other socioeconomic indicators (Stokes and Seto, 2019;Zhao et al., 2019;Falchetta et al., 2020b). ...
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Article
Transitioning to a sustainable energy system poses a massive challenge to communities, nations, and the global economy in the next decade and beyond. A growing portfolio of satellite data products is available to support this transition. Satellite data complement other information sources to provide a more complete picture of the global energy system, often with continuous spatial coverage over targeted areas or even the entire Earth. We find that satellite data are already being applied to a wide range of energy issues with varying information needs, from planning and operation of renewable energy projects, to tracking changing patterns in energy access and use, to monitoring environmental impacts and verifying the effectiveness of emissions reduction efforts. While satellite data could play a larger role throughout the policy and planning lifecycle, there are technical, social, and structural barriers to their increased use. We conclude with a discussion of opportunities for satellite data applications to energy and recommendations for research to maximize the value of satellite data for sustainable energy transitions.
... However, recent attempts to increase access to electricity connections in low-income countries have created a set of new and complex challenges for utilities and consumers that collectively reduce service quality (Golumbeanu and Barnes, 2013), and challenge sustainable development (McRae, 2015;Sievert and Steinbuks, 2020;Lukuyu et al., 2021). Among the concerns is low revenue generation for the utility or other providers, both from minimal electricity use by those newly connected and poorly-managed bill collection (Lukuyu et al., 2021;Fobi et al., 2018). Another major challenge is electricity theft, which impedes revenue collection and infrastructure maintenance (Blimpo and Cosgrove-Davies, 2019), though differentiating pilferage from other types of non-technical losses (NTLs) is difficult. ...
Article
In low-income countries such as Ethiopia, pre-paid metering is often argued to alleviate several challenges with traditional electricity billing systems, including high non-payment rate, pilferage and fraud, administrative and enforcement costs for utilities, and inflexibility and incongruence of bills with poorer consumers' irregular income. Despite increasing adoption of this technology, few studies examine its causal impacts on household behaviour. This paper examines the impacts of pre-paid metering on electricity consumption, ownership of appliances, level of satisfaction, and cooking behaviour in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. We employ propensity score matching and instrumental variable techniques to control for the non-random selection into pre-paid metering. Results indicate that pre-paid customers have significantly lower electricity consumption compared to those with traditional meters, and express greater satisfaction with utility service. This technology also has a positive, but modest and statistically insignificant impact on total appliance ownership, and a positive and significant impact on ownership of energy-efficient lights. Impacts are heterogeneous across customers, however: those who are more educated, who have higher income, and who do not share meters tend to reduce electricity use more. The results suggest that pre-paid meters have had positive impacts on households and the utility in Addis Ababa.
... In this study, a longitudinal data approach in a spatial heterogeneity model is applied. Compared to previous studies, our methodology enables us to disentangle any variations in the features of the target sample, which is the energy consuming household characteristics within a given region or across regions (Fobi et al., 2018;Upham, 2009). In exploring patterns of changes and dynamics of energy consumer behaviour, the methodology has the potential to identify trends and relationships within the data collected, while providing meaningful insights into cause-and-effect relationships of the variables (Geng and Cui, 2020). ...
Article
Understanding the dynamic behaviour of Sub-Saharan African households as they move along the energy ladder is essential for the energy transition in developing countries. This study applies Fixed and Random effect panel data models to analyse the drivers of rural and urban households' energy transition in Nigeria from 2010 to 2018. The estimation results from the panel models with robust standard errors show that rural households tend to increase their expenses on fuel sources that potentially substitute the energy source whose prices have increased. However, there is no significant relationship between the price and expenditure on different fuels in urban households. Irrespective of spatiality, we find that aside from income – education, household size, and internet access are essential drivers of household fuel choices. More importantly, we find evidence of reverse energy transition. We argue that this reverse energy transition limits the shift to cleaner fuels and increases the economic vulnerabilities of rural households. Our analysis also reveals that Nigerians’ preference for fuels is shifting to be price inelastic. We make a strong case for policies and interventions that raise household income, empower women, reduce the cost of living, and improve clean and affordable energy access to encourage energy transition.
... To realize the full impacts of electrification, increasing access to electricity connections must be accompanied by affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity consumption and financially sustainable power systems [19,57]. The unfortunate reality is that in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing electricity access rates have not been accompanied by the same level of consumption growth [22]. Consequently, people often still rely on traditional fuels, especially for cooking, and utilities and mini-grid companies are struggling for financial viability. ...
... The findings are supported by Gates and Yin [41], Zaman et al. [42] and Yang et al. [21] who reported that electricity consumption is affected positively by urbanization. Fobi et al. [43] also found that rural customers use 50% less electricity than urban customers in Kenya. Note that Morocco and Kenya are part of the same group of income "Lower middle-income economies", according to the classification made by the WDI [2]. ...
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Article
In a comprehensive LMDI-STIRPAT-ARDL framework, this research investigates the residential electricity consumption (REC)-income nexus in Morocco for the period 1990 to 2018. The logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) results show that economic activity and electricity intensity are the leading drivers of Morocco’s REC, followed by population and residential structure. And then, the LMDI analysis was combined with stochastic impacts by regression on population, affluence, and technology (STIRPAT) analysis and the bounds testing approach to search for a long-run equilibrium relationship. The empirical results show that REC, economic growth, urbanization, and electricity intensity are cointegrated. The results further show that there exists a U-shaped relationship between per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and REC: an increase in per capita GDP reduces REC initially; but, after reaching a turning point (the GDPPC level of 17,145.22 Dh), further increases in per capita GDP increase REC. Regarding urbanization, the results reveal that it has no significant impact on Morocco’s REC. The stability parameters of the short and long-term coefficients of residential electricity demand function are tested. The results of these tests showed a stable pattern. Finally, based on the findings mentioned above, policy implications for guiding the country's development and electricity planning under energy and environmental constraints are given.
... The findings are supported by Gates and Yin [41], Zaman et al. [42] and Yang et al. [21] who reported that electricity consumption is affected positively by urbanization. Fobi et al. [43] also found that rural customers use 50% less electricity than urban customers in Kenya. Note that Morocco and Kenya are part of the same group of income "Lower middle-income economies", according to the classification made by the WDI [2]. ...
... The information collected from the documents listed in Table 3 allows to run the simulations in RAMP using the data in Table 4 and obtain a set of six different electricity load profiles, namely two evolution scenarios per each user class, defined according to the income levels. As often observed in contexts of recent access to electricity, the demand increases in the years following the first access, eventually reaching a stable behaviour (Fobi, Deshpande, Ondiek, Modi, & Taneja, 2018). The load profiles obtained in RAMP refer to this final configuration of the demand, as they are employed to evaluate the limits imposed by the installation of SHS not only on current needs but also on potential demand growth. ...
Article
In the context of last-mile electrification of rural communities, stand-alone solutions like Solar Home Systems are often considered an equivalent option for access to electricity as other technologies, such as minigrids and connection to the main grid. In this work, the authors question this paradigm and propose an alternative approach that takes into account the limited service, and in turn, limited development possibilities, that Solar Home Systems grant to their users. A monetary penalty is applied to this technology based on the missed services. The conceived approach is applied to a case study in the district of Cochabamba, Bolivia, thanks to the cooperation with a local NGO. Results show how the inclusion of shadow costs influences the optimal electrification strategy in terms of users connected to the main grid by up to 33%, highlighting how standard approaches tend to overlook key aspects of access to electricity linked to the possibility of development.
... In this study, 1 kWh/day per household is used as "the basic service package" in all scenarios. This amount coincides with Tier 3 of the MTF scale and meets the current demand of a large part of recently electrified rural households in Kenya [63], where the rural area could be compared to the one in Nyagatare District. ...
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In 2019, there were 759 million people globally without access to electricity and 2.6 billion people lacked access to clean cooking. Cooking with electricity could contribute to achieving universal access to energy by 2030. This paper uses geospatially-based techniques—a computer model named REM, for Reference Electrification Model—to show the impact of integrating electric cooking into electrification planning. Three household scenarios were analyzed: one for providing basic electricity access with no electric cooking; another for cooking with electricity; and the third for cooking half of the meals with electricity and half with another fuel, with a clean stacking process. Results of the application of REM to the three scenarios were obtained for the Nyagatare District, Rwanda. The case study showed that electric cooking substantially changes the mix of technologies and the total cost of the least-cost electrification plan. It also showed that electric cooking can be cost competitive compared to LPG and charcoal in grid-connected households and can reduce greenhouse emissions. Stacking with energy-efficient electric appliances provides most of the benefits of full electric cooking at a lower cost and is a pathway worthy of further consideration.
... Furthermore, grid electricity is usually available in cities, yet, it is not accessible to all particularly the urban poor (i.e., slums) who mostly live at neglected localities deprived of basic infrastructure [18]. In rural areas, homesteads are often dispersed and consequently, not connected to grid electricity because of high transmission and distribution costs associated with grid extension [19]. The latter is particularly evident in Eastern and Southern Africa where the majority of the rural population resides in dispersed homesteads [20]. ...
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Household energy utilization trends have been argued to be affected by the rate of urbanization. Therefore, due to lack of information there is need to understand the effects of peri urbanization. The main objective of this research was to investigate household energy utilization trends and the effects of peri urbanization on household energy utilization and changing behaviour. The research was carried out in the counties of Bungoma and Uasin-Gishu of Kenya. Random sampling technique was used to select 560 households from a target household of 663,739 and data was collected using a structured questionnaire. The results showed that firewood is still the most common energy resource used for cooking in both rural and peri urban areas as evidenced by responses of 87.5% and 72.4%, respectively. The use of LPG (26 to 42%), charcoal (39.4% to 53.8%) and kerosene (14.3% to 17.3%) for cooking were found to increase as one move from rural to peri-urban and vice versa for agricultural residues (12.3% to 5.3%). Biogas uptake still represents a small fraction (11.4 to 14.6%) of the energy mix at local level. The use of solar for lighting showed reduction as one move from rural to peri urban (44.8% to 39.6%) and vice versa for kerosene (68.4% to 72%) and electricity (55.5% to 58.2%). In conclusion, this study showed that household energy utilization and changing behaviour in Kenya are affected by peri urbanization among others. This study offers understandings in enhancing household energy policy making in Kenya.
... Ahlborg and Hammar [3] find government policies and priorities to be the key driver for electrification, while limited funds and technical capabilities are a barrier. In Kenya, Fobi et al. [13] show that as electrification proceeds to increasingly rural populations, the demand of newly electrified households is lower than previously electrified households, hindering the economic capacity for further electrification. In contrast, Wolfram et al. [45] show that in Brazil, the combination of aggressive electrification policies and financial support for low-income households contributed to successful centralized grid electrification. ...
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Sub-Saharan Africa faces unique barriers to electricity development due to the large proportion of the population that is un-electrified and the prevalence of rural populations. Typically, power system expansion planning models assume all potential consumers can be immediately electrified. This assumption is unrealistic in sub-Saharan Africa, where electrification will likely be a gradual process over a number of years. Furthermore, since a large proportion of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is located in rural regions, the prioritization of these regions may impact how the grid develops. In this research, we develop a multi-period optimization model for power generation and transmission system expansion planning in sub-Saharan Africa. In contrast to existing models, which assume full electrification, we consider a variety of electrification policies and analyze the impact of varying the electrification rate and policy on the cost and resources selected for power system expansion. We test our model on a case study of Rwanda. We find that varying the year in which full electrification is reached has a larger impact on cost and generation capacity than varying the electrification policy does, although, when urban and rural regions are considered equitably, more rooftop solar is built. Varying the electrification policies has a larger impact on transmission expansion than on generation expansion and this impact is amplified when starting from zero initial system capacity rather than the original Rwanda system. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis shows that tightening the bounds on CO2eq emissions has a large impact on the generation portfolio and cost.
... Our one-year dataset also fails to distinguish between sites' progression along the load growth curve. A recent longitudinal study of newlyelectrified Kenyan customers found that loads tended to grow for roughly two years before steadying (Fobi et al., 2018). The same study found that rural customers tended to flatten their load growth sooner after connection than urban customers. ...
Article
Mini-grids are the lowest-cost solutions for electrifying many homes and businesses in rural communities with low energy access. Estimates of the electricity demand of unelectrified customers are a crucial input to selecting mini-grid sites, projecting revenue, and sizing system components to provide adequate capacity while minimizing capital costs. Typical customer survey-based demand estimates for these communities — where there are no historical data — are not reliable, typically overpredicting demand. Here, we test a data-driven approach to demand prediction using survey and smart meter data from 1378 Tanzanian mini-grid customers. We found that models incorporating customer survey data into their predictions consistently out-performed a baseline model that did not. Our best-performing model, the LASSO, predicted daily electricity demand with a median absolute error of 66% and 37% for individual connections and mini-grid sites, respectively. Quantitative measures of variable importance show that most survey data are not useful for estimating demand. These results suggest that surveys should prioritize thorough inventories of prospective customers' currently-owned appliances instead of detailed demographic information or self-reported habits and plans. Pairing shortened questionnaires with smart meter data from preexisting mini-grids can improve estimates of initial customer electricity demand significantly compared to standard field practices.
... The technicians receive their hands-on training at a 10 kW solar-hybrid demonstration system at Strathmore University (Strathmore University, 2019). Secondly, in collaboration with government institutions, practical handbooks for site section, licensing, system sizing, and financing of off-grid solar mini-grids were developed (Fobi et al., 2018;Herbert and Phimister, 2019). ProSolar, a solar company based in Kenya, assisted Marsabit and Turkana Counties in developing energy sector plans, which serve as a benchmark in strategizing, mapping, and monitoring the county's distribution and use of energy. ...
Article
With the world's lowest electrification rate, Africa is repositioning to offer its citizens a brighter future. Global renewable energy agencies and international financing to expedite rural electrification fueled by off-grid solar systems are attracting worldwide attention. Currently, 770 million people lack access to electricity on the continent, and more than 60% live in poor rural areas where the national power grid is non-existent. The challenge herein is how to supply electricity to rural population, living on $1.5 a day, at a reasonable power tariff. Although there are opportunities for off-grid solar energy to keep growing in sub-Saharan countries, it is impossible to ignore particular challenges in these countries. This paper focuses on three sub-Saharan counties: Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. Rwanda, Kenya, and Ethiopia foster off-grid solar systems as the primary solution through rural electrification programs. This paper provides a comparative analysis of the electrification experiences of these countries in terms of sources of funding, the challenges and opportunities they have been experiencing as well as an analysis of policy implications. The results show that off-grid solar systems improve health, ICT, and micro-enterprises in rural areas. However, governments should generate more robust developmental schemes that provide income to rural people that pushes them above the poverty line and enables them to afford off-grid solar products.
... Remotely sensed nighttime light (NTL) has long been considered as a direct measure of socio-economic development, and has served as primary data for a wide range of human-based research 1,2 , such as population modelling 3,4 , GDP estimation 5,6 , urban expansion mapping 7,8 , and EPC estimation 9,10 . Many studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between NTL and EPC at multiple levels, and consequently regression models for such estimation have been built 1,9,[11][12][13][14][15] . However, the relationship between NTL and EPC varies across areas, owing to the local socioeconomic diversity 16 . ...
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Spatially explicit information on electric power consumption (EPC) is crucial for effective electricity allocation and utilization. Many studies have estimated fine-scale spatial EPC based on remotely sensed nighttime light (NTL). However, the spatial non-stationary relationship between EPC and NTL at prefectural level tends to be overlooked in existing literature. In this study, a classification regression method to estimate the gridded EPC in China based on imaging NTL via a Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) was described. In addition, owing to some inherent omissions in the VIIRS NTL data, the study has employed the cubic Hermite interpolation to produce a more appropriate NTL dataset for estimation. The proposed method was compared with ordinary least squares (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) approaches. The results showed that our proposed method outperformed OLS and GWR in relative error (RE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE). The desirable results benefited mainly from a reasonable classification scheme that fully considered the spatial non-stationary relationship between EPC and NTL. Thus, the analysis suggested that the proposed classification regression method would enhance the accuracy of the gridded EPC estimation and provide a valuable reference predictive model for electricity consumption.
... One study finds that the average residential consumer in 2017 consumed 30 per cent of the electricity that the average residential consumer consumed in 2009. The researchers also note that urban households consume 50 per cent more electricity than rural households [4]. Based on data obtained from a private company operating mini-grids in Kenya, Osiolo et al. [1] report that the average monthly electricity consumption of rural consumers is 5kWh, significantly lower than Nairobi, where it is 200kWh. ...
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In the last ten years, electrification in Kenya has proceeded at an astonishing rate. Notwithstanding this feat, household electricity consumption, particularly in rural areas, remains significantly low. Thus, stimulating demand and sustainable consumption are the next critical challenges policymakers face. In this paper, we present a case study of an electrification project that targets workers’ housing inside a commercial tea estate. We use Energy Cultures framework to analyse what motivates and constrains household electricity consumption in rural Kenya. Our findings show that although people give significant consideration to cost, money is not the only determinant. Electricity is desired to the extent that it enables families to carry out socially desirable activities, while service is measured against expectations and aspirations. Although access to the grid influences households’ perceptions of wellbeing, their status as migrant workers has a constraining effect on how they consume electricity. Empowered by technology, households are also increasingly taking charge in shaping their own distinct energy cultures. However, for the most part, this involves finding new ways to reproduce and sustain a way of life that is consistent with their belief systems. Seeing households as embodiments of lifestyles whose energy culture is shaped by their on-going interactions with their physical and social environments, the paper argues for an integrated approach to policy and programmatic interventions.
... Electricity access programs in sub-Saharan Africa have made great strides in increasing electricity generation and customer connections. However, many newly-connected customers consume limited amounts of electricity, with limited growth over time [13], resulting in cumulative demand that is far less than supply. Some of the key reasons why new customers are unable to grow their consumption is that they often have limited access to and/or cannot afford appliances that consume electricity and have limited income to support electricity purchases. ...
... The huge boost in the electricity consumption in developing countries is often a consequence of urbanization. Urban areas tend to consume 50% more electricity than rural areas (Fobi et al., 2018), due to a more favourable economic situation, being an attractive place for the rural population that see the urban areas as a way to achieve security and improvement of living conditions. This social factor of migrations from rural to urban areas is not new. ...
Article
Solar thermal systems have been widely used to increase energy efficiency in residential sector, since it became one of the top priorities in many countries to mitigate the electricity shortage. Thus, for better deployment of solar thermal systems in the residential sector it is important to understand the household electricity consumption and energy usage for domestic hot water, though developing countries lack this type of accurate data. This work assesses a domestic hot water technology transition to solar thermal systems in the urban areas of developing countries, taking as case study Maputo city, in Mozambique. First, a survey was made to the domestic hot water needs, demand and usage, in 700 households, 28 neighbourhoods of Maputo, having identified the sources and technologies used to heat water and quantified the domestic hot water needs. Then, the impact on energy demand, cost and CO2 emissions of domestic hot water technology change to solar thermal systems was modelled as well as the impact on electricity grid. The survey results point that the predominant energy sources used for domestic hot water in urban areas are electricity and biomass with nearly 46% and 41% shares, respectively. Further, results show that the domestic hot water technology used depends on household income, being the electric water heaters mostly used in households with relatively high-income. The technology transition to solar thermal systems results in a positive impact on the grid by reducing up to 65.7% the domestic hot water electricity demand and 78.7% of the CO2 emissions, while the economic savings are up to 244 USD/household/year. However, peak load is expected to increase by 11%, suggesting the need for load management policy implementation.
... Monthly demand for a residential consumer under the "low case," "central case," and "high case" are 7.1, 25.3, and 62.8 kWh, respectively. These values roughly match median consumption values observed by grid-connected consumers in Kenya at 0.25, 1, and 10 year time spans from initial connections as presented by Fobi et al. [32]. Assuming demand growth in Uganda may progress similarly to how consumption growth has proceeded in Kenya, the 0.25 to 10 year time horizons chosen may be considered to be reasonable bounds on the domain of residential demand values modeled. ...
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Despite substantial progress in recent years, the global community is projected to fall short in its goal to achieve universal electricity access by 2030. State-of-the-art electrification planning models enable planners to outline pathways towards improving the economic feasibility of extending access. The studies presented in this paper employ the Reference Electrification Model (REM) to investigate the value of accurately modeling detailed demand characteristics for electrification planning endeavors. Additionally, the benefits of demand stimulation are explored. REM uses information about consumer demand, existing grid topology, network and generation components, and other features to produce detailed engineering designs of recommended systems for every consumer in an area of interest. These designs may comprise different supply technologies including grid extension, mini-grid, and stand-alone systems. In our case study, the model determines the cost-optimal technology mix to provide full electrification for a 10,914 km 2 area of Uganda with 366,946 individual consumers. These consumers are categorized into 20 consumer types. The studies presented are unique from those previously reported due to the high (consumer-level) spatial granularity, technical detail in system designs, and large areal extent of analysis. A number of contributions are made. First, the criticality of adequately estimating demand and its evolution is demonstrated for large-scale planning; notable cost and supply technology sensitivities are observed as a function of anticipated demand levels. Second, the importance of representing demand heterogeneity is elucidated via modeling a diversity of consumer types. In the "central demand case" presented, modeling demand heterogeneity results in least-cost plans that are 9% less costly than mod-eling assuming one single customer type. Modeling heterogeneity also decreases prescribed grid extension shares from 89% to 77%, increasing the prevalence of mini-grid and stand-alone systems. Lastly, the potential economic benefits of demand stimulation are characterized. We show how stimulating demand can lead to positive feedback loops: increasing electricity demand can lower electricity unit-costs through the realization of economies of scale and improved network utilization, which can improve the viability of additional electric loads, continuing the cycle. Specific studies comparing the economics of clean cooking via electric and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cookstoves show how these feedback loops can jointly benefit progress towards universal access to clean cooking and electricity. The demand assumptions modeled show that coordinated planning can reduce electricity costs by 34% and increase electric cookstove viabilities from 42% to 82%.
... The relationship between energy consumption and economic growth was first studied by Kraft and Kraft (1978), and then the research studies have been extended from energy consumption to electricity consumption. Even recent works are emphasizing how the consumer behaviors have evolved among these newly electrified customers (Fobi et al., 2018). Though the studies on electricity consumption and growth nexus across countries are innumerable, the studies that dwell on this topic relating to Bangladesh are scanty. ...
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the causal relationship between per capita electricity consumption (PCEC) and per capita gross national income (GNI) (PCGNI) in Bangladesh for the period of 1971-2014. Design/methodology/approach Vector error correction modeling approach. Findings The study reveals that positive short-run unidirectional causal flow running between PCEC to PCGNI without feedback which implies that an increase in electricity consumption promptly affects economic activity. The results of both long-run and joint causality yield strong evidence of bidirectional causal relationship between PCEC and per capita real GNI with feedback. Originality/value Therefore, both electricity generation and conservation policy will be effective for Bangladesh economy. So, smooth supply of electricity is necessary to meet the growing electricity demand for consumption; consequently, it will lead to sustain of growth and take it even higher level.
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While many tools and methodologies for assessing social impact exist and are used in the social science and global development fields, there is a lack of standard methods for considering the broader social impact of products in the engineering community. Some reasons these methods are not as widely used in the engineering community include designers not being aware of the methods, or methods not being widely applicable. The purpose of this research is to help designers and researchers find relevant design tools and methods for implementing social impact considerations. This is done through the classification of 374 papers in the Engineering for Global Development (EGD) literature along several dimensions including method purpose, industry sector, social impacts considered, sustainable development goals, paper setting, and data inputs required. This paper describes how designers and researchers can use this set of classified papers to locate relevant design tools and methods to improve social impact considerations in their work.
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Electrifying 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa will require substantial investments. Integrated electrification models inform key policy decisions and electricity access investments in many countries. While current electrification models apply sophisticated geospatial methods, they often make simplistic assumptions about financing conditions. Here we establish cost of capital values, reflecting country and electrification mode (that is, grid extension, minigrids and stand-alone systems), and specific risks faced by investors and integrate them into an open source electrification model. We find that the cost of capital for off-grid electrification is much higher than currently assumed, up to 32.2%. Accounting for finance shifts approximately 240 million people from minigrids to stand-alone systems in our main scenario, suggesting a more cost-effective electrification mode mix than previously suggested. In turn, electrification models based on uniform cost of capital assumptions increase the per kWh cost of electricity by 20%, on average. Upscaling and mainstreaming off-grid finance can lower electrification cost substantially.
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Universal access to electricity is an essential part of sub-Saharan Africa’s path to development. With the United Nations setting Goal 7 of its Sustainable Development Goals to be universal access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity, substantial research efforts have been made to optimize electricity supply based on projected demand in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. However, most of these projections of electricity demand do not explicitly account for latent demand (i.e., electricity demand that would exist if the necessary techno-economic conditions were met). Our paper reviews electricity demand estimation and consumption literature to propose a framework for quantifying latent demand. In our study, we found that of the 56 papers reviewed only 3 (5%) of them incorporated latent demand in their projection of electricity demand in SSA. Majority of the literature on electricity consumption and demand estimation in SSA use econometric models to identify determinants of electricity consumption and project future demand. Furthermore, we identified population density, urbanization, household income, electricity price, market value of crops and availability of natural resources to be significant determinants of electricity consumption in SSA. We conclude the review by proposing a methodology for more accurately projecting latent demand in sub-Saharan Africa. Incorporating latent demand in electrification models would help inform energy sector stakeholders in SSA, especially investors and policymakers, about which sectors and geographic locations hold potential for wealth creation via electricity access.
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This study investigates the evolution of electricity consumption across residential and industrial sectors in Taiwan. By applying the dynamic factor model, we classify the fluctuations in electricity consumption into aggregate, regional, and individual factors, which sheds light on the latent dynamics of the electricity market. The empirical result shows that around 73% of residential electricity consumption variations are explained by the aggregate and regional factors. Moreover, the aggregate factor contributes 79% to the industrial electricity consumption variation. Interestingly, this study finds a distinct pattern of latent aggregate factor development across the two sectors. Finally, this study finds that temperature change and business cycle indicator help to predict changes in common elements in the variations in residential and industrial electricity consumption based on the linear and non-linear Granger causality test. This finding suggests that the aggregate factor index, together with temperature change and business cycle indicators would be great indicators for monitoring electricity consumption in Taiwan.
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In Kenya, between 2010 and 2015, the number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) connected to the grid increased by over 60%. Despite this substantial increase, little is known about the behavioural patterns or conditions that contribute to increased electricity consumption among these SMEs. This study addresses the problem through a longitudinal analysis of monthly electricity bills for over 179,000 grid connected SMEs in Kenya. We then leverage multiple publicly available geospatial datasets to estimate how complementary infrastructural variables (such as access to roads, markets, financial services, and macro/micro-economic conditions) correlate with sustained electricity consumption growth by SMEs. Results from our longitudinal analysis indicate that newly electrified SMEs in urban areas have higher median consumption than their older counterparts while in rural areas, more newly connected SMEs appear to have lower median consumption. We find the effects of complementary infrastructure on SME electricity consumption to be more pronounced in rural areas than urban areas. For example, SMEs located in rural neighborhoods with close proximity to roads, markets or financial service providers are associated with a 10% to 16% increase in electricity consumption while in urban areas, we only observe about a 2% increment in electricity consumption for SMEs within close proximity to roads. All other infrastructural variables are either statistically insignificant or negatively correlated with urban SME electricity consumption.
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African electricity access shortfalls have prompted multiple energy planning models to suggest rapid deployment of low-carbon pathways. Instead of being data driven, these scenario-based models often rely on assumptions and political targets. Recently in Nature Energy, Alova et al. propose a solution for integrating local factors into energy planning models.
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Until now, electricity system planners in emerging economies have primarily relied on simple assumptions and deductive methods for demand forecasting. Optimization models for both large- and small-scale electrification planning show high sensitivity to this input. Better forecasts could help to right-size infrastructure for initial consumption as well as for expected growth. Since governments always face a litany of competing needs, better understanding electricity demand could allow strained budgets to stretch further
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This article explores the gaps in our understanding of how to maximize economic development from increased access and use of modern energy in low-income countries. We argue that despite the obvious value energy has for development, its potential can be enhanced by a better understanding of energy use at an individual and community level. Drawing on qualitative data collected from 75 in-depth interviews with energy users in Kenya, and utilising social practice theory, we find that while people are enthusiastic about energy access, there is a complicated path to traverse before its benefits can be fully exploited and sustainable changes occur. Respondents in our sample had limited ideas for how they could use increased access to improve existing businesses or start new ones, which often reflected their lived experiences rather than innovative applications to facilitate economic activity. Where people could see uses for energy for their businesses there were many barriers to achieving those opportunities, highlighting a complex array of factors beyond simple access and use of energy that drives people’s business decisions. We conclude that to realise the benefits promised by modern energy use, we need more nuanced understandings of energy, and the interlinked role it plays in society.
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Electric power plays an important role in the economic development of a nation and in improving human life. Since China is the world's largest electricity consumer, an understanding of the factors influencing the growth in the consumption of electricity would help Chinese leaders design appropriate energy savings strategies and economic policies. Using the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method based on the Kaya identity, this study takes China's non-residential power consumption from 2007 to 2016 as its research subject and decomposes the influencing factors into population size, economic development, regional economic structure, regional industrial structure, and electricity consumption intensity. We find that economic growth is the main factor influencing the growth of non-residential power consumption, mostly in the eastern region; moreover, the increased intensity of power consumption inhibits the growth of non-residential power consumption, with the suppression effect being more significant in the secondary industry. Population growth plays a small role in promoting electricity consumption. Regional economic structure has a negative effect on power consumption, showing a significant difference between provinces. From these results, regional differences and industrial structure are factors to be considered for the development and management of electricity. Therefore, technological innovation and management need to be strengthened, with focus on industrial structure adjustment and promotion of energy conservation technology in the central and western regions.
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On the basis of considering the inertia characteristic of electricity consumption (EC), the nonlinear dynamic threshold effect of urbanization on EC was studied by using dynamic threshold model. The mediating effect of economic growth on the influence of urbanization on EC was studied under heterogeneous samples. The spatial-temporal heterogeneity of the influence of urbanization on EC was investigated. The main conclusions are as follows: Firstly, when the threshold variable value crosses the threshold, the promoting effect of population urbanization rate (PUR) on per capita electricity consumption (PEC) and per capita industrial electricity consumption (PIEC) will be significantly weakened, but the promoting effect of PUR on per capita household electricity consumption (PHEC) will be significantly enhanced. Secondly, the positive mediating effect of economic growth on the influence of urbanization on EC is significant. The mediating effect on regions that cross the threshold is also greater than those that do not. Thirdly, the impact of PUR on PEC or PIEC in the eastern region is weaker than that in the central and western regions, while the impact of PUR on PHEC in the eastern region is stronger than that in the central and western regions.
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