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Cost of electricity produced by a diesel generator

Despite a high total population, most parts of the African continent are sparsely populated, with almost 60% living in non-urban areas. Diesel generators have long been the traditional solution to decentralized electrification needs. For off-grid applications, they present lower up-front capital costs per kilowatt installed; however, the dramatic increase of fuel costs in recent years and the cost of transport to remote areas greatly diminish the low capital cost advantage of the diesel option. Even in the cases when the initial investments were subsidized, the high yearly fuel cost are born by the users which often results in early termination of its use. The map shows the spatial variance of the electricity costs per kWh delivered by an off-grid diesel generator.

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* S. Szabo, K. Bódis, T. Huld, and M. Moner-Girona, “Energy solutions in rural Africa: mapping electrification costs of distributed solar and diesel generation versus grid extension,” Environ. Res. Lett., vol. 6, no. 3, p. 034002, 2011. * Szabó, S., Pinedo Pascua, I., Puig, D. et al. Mapping of affordability levels for photovoltaic-based electricity generation in the solar belt of sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and South Asia. Sci Rep 11, 3226 (2021).



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