Energy planning in Sub-Saharan African countries needs to explicitly consider productive uses of electricity

10-08-2023 | Artikel

Studies show the role of various electrification technologies in providing electricity access to households in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on electricity demand for end-use services such as lighting, cooking, heating, cooling and other appliance use. The demand for productive use of electricity, which is important to enhance income generation opportunities and labour productivity, is usually not considered. Using the IMAGE-TIMER integrated assessment model framework, we present a methodology to project the impact of productive activities on the electricity system of the region.

We show that growing productive activities increase household electricity demand by half, which has important consequences for determining the cost-optimal electrification technologies. We argue that planning of electricity systems should accommodate this increase in electricity demand for productive uses. In addition, while productive uses of electricity have a positive impact on the financial viability of electrification systems, they also increase the electricity sector investment requirements considerably.