The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The impact of an electrical mini-grid on the development of a rural community in Kenya

The impact of an electrical mini-grid on the development of a rural community in Kenya
The impact of an electrical mini-grid on the development of a rural community in Kenya
Electrical mini-grids can provide electrification to rural communities far from the national network. However the benefits of such schemes are disputed. We observed changes in two matched trading-centres in Makueni County, Kenya, neither of which were initially electrified. During the study a solar photovoltaic mini-grid scheme (13.5 kWp) was constructed in one of the trading-centres. After electrification there were relative increases in the number of businesses and business income. Comparing the households in the areas around the trading centres, perceived wealth increased more around the electrified trading centre. Qualitative interviews indicated improvements in service provision by the local school and health centre. The co-operative set up to run the mini-grid was free to set its own kWh tariff and chose to reduce it to a level that covers operating costs and would recover 70% of the initial investment interest-free. However, the tariff finally agreed is higher than the national grid tariff, which would be difficult to achieve if the mini-grid was not owned by and run for the benefit of the local community. Overall, we found that the mini-grid had a positive effect over background development, recovered some of its cost and charged a higher tariff than the national rate.
energy access, rural electrification, electrical mini-grids, solar PV, Kenya
1996-1073
1-21
Bahaj, Abubakr
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37
Blunden, Luke
28b4a5d4-16f8-4396-825b-4f65639d2903
Kanani, Christopher D
2d2030cb-23f1-4e5d-b869-5abf06f7cdcc
James, Patrick
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Kiva, Isaac
72507207-b255-42fd-900b-ce793388f070
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Price, Heather
4d3a250f-c7c6-4b2f-8136-fe4df0acd284
Essendi, Hildah M
572e595b-8b43-46d3-825a-7059721be306
Falkingham, Jane
8df36615-1547-4a6d-ad55-aa9496e85519
George, Gerard
9542d535-a99e-419f-b8bc-fbc210f22f76
Bahaj, Abubakr
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37
Blunden, Luke
28b4a5d4-16f8-4396-825b-4f65639d2903
Kanani, Christopher D
2d2030cb-23f1-4e5d-b869-5abf06f7cdcc
James, Patrick
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Kiva, Isaac
72507207-b255-42fd-900b-ce793388f070
Matthews, Zoe
ebaee878-8cb8-415f-8aa1-3af2c3856f55
Price, Heather
4d3a250f-c7c6-4b2f-8136-fe4df0acd284
Essendi, Hildah M
572e595b-8b43-46d3-825a-7059721be306
Falkingham, Jane
8df36615-1547-4a6d-ad55-aa9496e85519
George, Gerard
9542d535-a99e-419f-b8bc-fbc210f22f76

Bahaj, Abubakr, Blunden, Luke, Kanani, Christopher D, James, Patrick, Kiva, Isaac, Matthews, Zoe, Price, Heather, Essendi, Hildah M, Falkingham, Jane and George, Gerard (2019) The impact of an electrical mini-grid on the development of a rural community in Kenya. Energies, 12 (5), 1-21. (doi:10.3390/en12050778).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Electrical mini-grids can provide electrification to rural communities far from the national network. However the benefits of such schemes are disputed. We observed changes in two matched trading-centres in Makueni County, Kenya, neither of which were initially electrified. During the study a solar photovoltaic mini-grid scheme (13.5 kWp) was constructed in one of the trading-centres. After electrification there were relative increases in the number of businesses and business income. Comparing the households in the areas around the trading centres, perceived wealth increased more around the electrified trading centre. Qualitative interviews indicated improvements in service provision by the local school and health centre. The co-operative set up to run the mini-grid was free to set its own kWh tariff and chose to reduce it to a level that covers operating costs and would recover 70% of the initial investment interest-free. However, the tariff finally agreed is higher than the national grid tariff, which would be difficult to achieve if the mini-grid was not owned by and run for the benefit of the local community. Overall, we found that the mini-grid had a positive effect over background development, recovered some of its cost and charged a higher tariff than the national rate.

Text
energies-12-00778 - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (3MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 February 2019
Published date: 26 February 2019
Keywords: energy access, rural electrification, electrical mini-grids, solar PV, Kenya

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428831
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428831
ISSN: 1996-1073
PURE UUID: a5d12bd6-74d0-4461-8179-341b32e9dbf6
ORCID for Abubakr Bahaj: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0043-6045
ORCID for Luke Blunden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0046-5508
ORCID for Jane Falkingham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7135-5875

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 24 Apr 2019 00:37

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Abubakr Bahaj ORCID iD
Author: Luke Blunden ORCID iD
Author: Christopher D Kanani
Author: Patrick James
Author: Isaac Kiva
Author: Zoe Matthews
Author: Heather Price
Author: Hildah M Essendi
Author: Jane Falkingham ORCID iD
Author: Gerard George

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×