EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A Retrospective Analysis of Energy Access with a Focus on the Role of Mini-Grids

Alexandros Korkovelos (), Hisham Zerriffi (), Mark Howells (), Morgan Bazilian (), H-Holger Rogner () and Francesco Fuso Nerini ()
Additional contact information
Alexandros Korkovelos: Department of Energy Technology, Division of Energy Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm 11428, Sweden
Hisham Zerriffi: Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Mark Howells: Department of Geography and Environment, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
Morgan Bazilian: Department of Energy Technology, Division of Energy Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm 11428, Sweden
H-Holger Rogner: Department of Energy Technology, Division of Energy Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm 11428, Sweden
Francesco Fuso Nerini: Department of Energy Technology, Division of Energy Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm 11428, Sweden

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 5, 1-29

Abstract: Achieving universal access to electricity by 2030 is a key part of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has its own Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 7.1. This is because electricity services are required for almost all aspects of a modern economy, from the cooling of vaccines to irrigation pumping, to manufacturing and running a business. The achievement of SDG 7.1 will require a thoughtful mix of policy, finance, and technology to be designed and implemented at scale. Yet, the pressing need for an electrification ramp-up is not unprecedented. Many countries (now considered “industrialized”) faced similar challenges about a century ago. Although the existing literature covers a great deal of power systems evolution, there is a gap around the specific role and impact of small, isolated power systems in the early stages of electricity uptake. In this paper, we provide insights based on the review of the historical electrification efforts in four (now middle and high-income) countries. The drivers and context of electrification efforts in early stages are described. Those focus particularly on the role of dispersed, small-scale generation systems (mini-grids). Our analysis shows that electrification follows four loosely defined phases, namely: pilot projects, technological roll-out, economic expansion, and social scale-up. We report a selection of historical mistakes and advances that offer lessons of striking importance for today´s energy access efforts, particularly in regards to the development of mini-grids. We find that today, as historically, multi-stakeholder (e.g., planners, regulators, developers, investors, third party actors) collaboration is key and can help build locally adaptable, economically sustainable and community compatible mini-grids that can accelerate—and lower the societal costs of—universal access to electricity.

Keywords: Mini-grids; Electrification; History of power systems; SDG 7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/5/1793/pdf (application/pdf)
https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/5/1793/ (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:5:p:1793-:d:325936

Access Statistics for this article

Sustainability is currently edited by Mr. Samuel Li

More articles in Sustainability from MDPI
Bibliographic data for series maintained by MDPI Indexing Manager ().

 
Page updated 2021-11-24
Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:5:p:1793-:d:325936