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Cost of Photo Voltaic versus Diesel

Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development. Yet 1.2 billion people worldwide live without access to electricity. It is recognized that the central grid is unlikely to reach many remote areas in the near future: many of these communities will have low electricity consumption, making the costs of extending the grid unaffordable. Given the evident potential of solar energy for African countries, using stand-alone and mini-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems could be an alternative approach to meet the objective of universal electrification. This layer compares the costs of electricity produced by solar photovoltaic and diesel systems, the two prevailing off-grid options for rural electrification in Africa. The map shows the difference between solar- and diesel-based electricity production cost (cents USD/kWh) at one square-kilometre resolution. PV minigrid represent the least-cost electrification option in the orange-to-yellow areas, whereas cheaper diesel is depicted in purple. The higher the contrast, the larger the cost difference.

RCoE Action:

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.


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