Energy solutions in rural Africa: mapping electrification costs of distributed solar and diesel generation versus grid extension
Three rural electrification options are analysed showing the cost optimal conditions for a sustainable energy development applying renewable energy sources in Africa. A spatial electricity cost model has been designed to point out whether diesel generators, photovoltaic systems or extension of the grid are the least-cost option in off-grid areas. The resulting mapping application offers support to decide in which regions the communities could be electrified either within the grid or in an isolated mini-grid. Donor programs and National Rural Electrification Agencies (or equivalent governmental departments) could use this type of delineation for their program boundaries and then could use the local optimization tools adapted to the prevailing parameters (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/3/034002/pdf/1748-9326_6_3_034002.pdf).