Download publication

External Publication

Electrification in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of international institutions

Bruegel fellow Simone Tagliapietra contributed to the new issue of the 'Oxford Energy Forum' with an article on the role of international and European financing institutions in fostering the electrification of Africa.

By: Date: September 11, 2018 Topic: Energy & Climate

This article was published as part of Oxford Energy Forum – Electrifying Africa – Issue 115

Africa’s access to electricity varies by region: North Africa is almost entirely (99 per cent) electrified; in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa (SSA), electrification rates in most countries are below 30 per cent; and South Africa is predominantly (86 per cent) electrified. Lack of access to electricity in SSA is even more dramatic in rural areas, where electrification rates average 16 per cent, compared to 99 per cent in North African countries and 71 per cent in South Africa.

Since 2014 the number of people without access to power in SSA has declined, as electrification efforts have surpassed population growth. Decentralized renewable-energy solutions play an increasing role in this trend. However, around 590 million people in SSA continue to lack access to power, more than half of the world’s total.

Lack of access is not the only component of SSA’s electrification challenge. Even among people who do have access to electricity, there are wide disparities in annual per capita consumption between the three regions: 225 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in SSA – and as little as 100 kW in rural areas – compared to 1,500 kWh in North Africa and 4,200 kWh in South Africa.

Thus, two-thirds of SSA’s population does not have access to power, while the remaining one-third cannot consume as much as it would like, due to regular blackouts and brownouts resulting from structural problems in the electrical system.

Making power available to all by 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, is therefore a major challenge for Africa, notably for financial reasons.

The International Energy Agency estimates that cumulative investments between 2017 and 2030 under current policies and commitments are less than one-fifth of the amount needed to achieve universal electricity access in SSA, which it estimates at $454 billion, an average of $35 billion per year.

How to meet this substantial investment requirement? The issue is complex, and no simple solution exists. However, two points seem to be essential:

  1. SSA countries should reform their power sectors to facilitate international investment.
  2. The international public financing made available for Africa’s electrification should be better used, in order to encourage international private investments in the sector.
Read about event More on this topic
 

Upcoming Event

Mar
2
10:00

Paris Reinforce: Central Asia and Caspian region Stakeholder Discussion Series #2

Second edition of the Paris Reinforce workshop with focus on Central Asian and Caspian (CAC) region.

Speakers: Gabriele Cassetti, Haris Doukas, Rocco De Miglio and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate
Read about event More on this topic
 

Upcoming Event

Mar
9
14:00

A new carbon pricing paradigm for the path to net zero

Which role carbon pricing could and should play in the future policy mix?

Speakers: Georg Zachmann and Ottmar Edenhofer Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

Paris Reinforce: Central Asia and Caspian region Stakeholder Discussion Series

New Paris Reinforce workshop with focus on Central Asian and Caspian (CAC) region.

Speakers: Gabriele Cassetti, Rocco De Miglio, Haris Doukas and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: December 9, 2020
Read article Download PDF More on this topic
 

External Publication

Perspective of comprehensive and comprehensible multi-model energy and climate science in Europe

A comprehensive and comprehensible multi-model framework offers a real example of “collective” science diplomacy, as an instrument to further support the ambitious goals of the EU Green Deal, in compliance with the EU claim to responsible research.

By: Alexandros Nikas, Ajay Gambhir, Evelina Trutnevyte, Konstantinos Koasidis, Henrik Lund, Jakob Zinck Thellufsen, Didier Mayer, Georg Zachmann, Luis Javier Miguel, Noelia Ferreras Alonso, Ida Sognnæs, Glen Peters, Enzo Colombo, Mark Howells, Adam D. Hawkes, Machteld Van Den Broek, Dirk-Jan van de Ven, Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino, Alexandros Flamos and Haris Doukas Topic: Energy & Climate Date: November 5, 2020
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

Paris Reinforce workshop on India's mitigation pathways

What are current greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios commonly proposed for India?

Speakers: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: November 3, 2020
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Opinion

Understanding the world of tomorrow through the great challenges of energy and climate change

“Only a broad policy framework – taking into account economic, fiscal, industrial, labour, innovation and social policy issues – can address the challenges of the climate crisis in a balanced way.”

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: October 26, 2020
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Podcast

Podcast

Global Energy Fundamentals

Bruegel research fellow Simone Tagliapietra discusses his new book, Global Energy Fundamentals.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 23, 2020
Read article More on this topic
 

Podcast

Podcast

The European Green Deal rules

When it comes to global carbon emission is a tax the best form of defence? To make the European Green Deal work, the EU is considering a levy on carbon-intensive goods manufactured beyond its borders. But will a carbon border tax spawn a massive bureaucracy and lead to accusations of protectionism? To find out, Nicholas Barrett talked to Georg Zachmann and Ben McWilliams from Bruegel and Gabriel Felbermayr, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

By: The Sound of Economics and Bruegel Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: March 9, 2020
Read article Download PDF More on this topic
 

Policy Contribution

FDI another day: Russian reliance on European investment

Most foreign direct investment into Russia originates in the European Union: European investors own between 55 percent and 75 percent of Russian FDI stock. This points to a Russian dependence on European investment, making the EU paramount for Russian medium-term growth. Even if we consider ‘phantom’ FDI that transits through Europe, the EU remains the primary investor in Russia. Most phantom FDI into Russia is believed to originate from Russia itself and thus is by construction not foreign.

By: Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Niclas Poitiers Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: February 17, 2020
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author
 

Policy Contribution

The European Union-Russia-China energy triangle

Concern is growing in the European Union that a rapprochement between Russia and China could have negative implications for the EU.

By: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: December 9, 2019
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

COP 21 RIPPLES: What are the key elements of an adequate global response?

The Dialogue focuses on technology, finance, industrial transformations and the political economy, which are identified by COP21 RIPPLES as key leverage points for triggering transformation.

Speakers: Michel Colombier, Marta Torres-Gunfaus, Henri Waisman and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 22, 2019
Read article More on this topic
 

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: The Green New Deal

In this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', Guntram Wolff and Simone Tagliapietra discuss the division of tasks for the new EU commissioners, following Ursua Von der Leyen's announcement of roles on 10th September. They specifically zoom in on the role of the Green Deal, one of the flagship projects of this commission.

By: The Sound of Economics and Bruegel Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 11, 2019
Load more posts