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Pathways to universal electricity access for rural communities in Africa

Pathways to universal electricity access for rural communities in Africa
Pathways to universal electricity access for rural communities in Africa

This paper presents results covering the efficiency of appliances to support reduce power needs in both mini grids and upgradeable solar home systems. In addition, the research has compared the efficacy of DC vs AC mini grids at different scales. In general, the results indicated that DC mini grids could compete well at sites with a smaller geographical footprint, providing efficient appliances are integrated at system implementation. At the higher 'tiers' of electrification, we also present results and experiences from the five e4D solar photovoltaics (PV) mini grid projects in Kenya and Uganda. The work includes analysis of community engagement, electrical load characterisation, and system operation of the mini grids in rural settings. The results indicate that energy consumption varies significantly between the sites, associated with socio-economic factors, whilst all the villages' trading centres have experienced varying levels of business growth. Overall outcomes from this research provide clear indications that mini grid interventions not only invigorate rural communities by enhancing education and health provisions, but are also associated with growth in existing businesses and the creation of new businesses. Therefore, it is recommended that where needed, rural electrification policies be amended to give priority to facilitate and attract investment in decentralized mini grids.

022047
Bahaj, A. S.
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37
Alam, M.
4ae5e89d-1588-461f-be4c-8bdbc39b8b2c
Blunden, L. S.
28b4a5d4-16f8-4396-825b-4f65639d2903
James, P. A.B.
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Kiva, I.
72507207-b255-42fd-900b-ce793388f070
Bahaj, A. S.
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37
Alam, M.
4ae5e89d-1588-461f-be4c-8bdbc39b8b2c
Blunden, L. S.
28b4a5d4-16f8-4396-825b-4f65639d2903
James, P. A.B.
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Kiva, I.
72507207-b255-42fd-900b-ce793388f070

Bahaj, A. S., Alam, M., Blunden, L. S., James, P. A.B. and Kiva, I. (2020) Pathways to universal electricity access for rural communities in Africa. World Sustainable Built Environment - Beyond 2020, WSBE 2020: BEYOND 2020, , Gothenburg, Sweden. 02 - 04 Nov 2020. 022047 . (doi:10.1088/1755-1315/588/2/022047).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This paper presents results covering the efficiency of appliances to support reduce power needs in both mini grids and upgradeable solar home systems. In addition, the research has compared the efficacy of DC vs AC mini grids at different scales. In general, the results indicated that DC mini grids could compete well at sites with a smaller geographical footprint, providing efficient appliances are integrated at system implementation. At the higher 'tiers' of electrification, we also present results and experiences from the five e4D solar photovoltaics (PV) mini grid projects in Kenya and Uganda. The work includes analysis of community engagement, electrical load characterisation, and system operation of the mini grids in rural settings. The results indicate that energy consumption varies significantly between the sites, associated with socio-economic factors, whilst all the villages' trading centres have experienced varying levels of business growth. Overall outcomes from this research provide clear indications that mini grid interventions not only invigorate rural communities by enhancing education and health provisions, but are also associated with growth in existing businesses and the creation of new businesses. Therefore, it is recommended that where needed, rural electrification policies be amended to give priority to facilitate and attract investment in decentralized mini grids.

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More information

Published date: 20 November 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work is part of the activities of the Energy and Climate Change Division and the Sustainable Energy Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at the University of Southampton (www.energy.soton.ac.uk), UK. It is also supported by Innovate UK Project Number: 4132719 Efficient VERsatile Energy Services Solution Through DC; Innovate UK Project No: 132709 Low Cost, Graduated Payg Solar Home Systems for Africa; EPSRC grant EP/R030391/1 Fortis Unum: Clustering Min Grid Networks to Widen Energy Access and Enhance Utility Network Resilience, and Innovate UK Project Number: 40582 Demand Side Renewable Agriculture Business Led Enterprise. Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Institute of Physics Publishing. All rights reserved.
Venue - Dates: World Sustainable Built Environment - Beyond 2020, WSBE 2020: BEYOND 2020, , Gothenburg, Sweden, 2020-11-02 - 2020-11-04

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 467331
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/467331
PURE UUID: c20d6115-20cd-49a1-a1b8-0abc989c594d
ORCID for A. S. Bahaj: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0043-6045
ORCID for L. S. Blunden: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0046-5508
ORCID for P. A.B. James: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2694-7054

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Date deposited: 06 Jul 2022 16:52
Last modified: 24 Jul 2022 01:43

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Contributors

Author: A. S. Bahaj ORCID iD
Author: M. Alam
Author: L. S. Blunden ORCID iD
Author: P. A.B. James ORCID iD
Author: I. Kiva

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