Spatial Analysis and Modelling

In the past 5 years, in the frame of the REMEA activities a consolidated technical and socio-economic base for assessing rural electrification projects and defining the criteria needed to choose between grid extension and off-grid solutions was developed

The methodology (see figure below, from Szabó et al. 2013, based in geo-economic analysis, aims to identify the least-cost rural electrification options for sub-Saharan Africa. For each geographical location (1 by 1 km2 pixel), the cost options for electricity generation via mini hydropower, stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systems and diesel generators are calculated and then  are compared to the costs involved in  extending   the electricity grid to reach the same location.

The methodology is based on several energy-related local data and regional geo-information that have a specific interest in itself, independently on their use. For this reason, all data on which the least-cost analysis is based are organized in user-friendly maps, available for downloading, which could help decision- and policy-makers to plan l electrification and rural electrification scenarios, thereby ending in also reducing the energy poverty gap.

The input geographical datasets are available for download to the AFRETEP community (information on ‘HOW TO’ become a member).


Source: Szabó et al., 2013


Calculations (see map below) showed that in 2012 PV was the cheapest electricity source for one third of the overall African population.

Source: Szabó et al., 2013