Satellite Observations Reveal Inequalities in the Progress and Effectiveness of Recent Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa

Falchetta G, Pachauri S ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8138-3178, Byers E ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0349-5742, Danylo O, & Parkinson SC (2020). Satellite Observations Reveal Inequalities in the Progress and Effectiveness of Recent Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa. One Earth DOI:10.1016/j.oneear.2020.03.007. (In Press)

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Abstract

Ending energy poverty is a necessary condition for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Boosting electricity access levels is, how- ever, insufficient if consumption and reliability in- dicators stagnate. Previous research has shown that satellite-derived data can complement field surveys in tracking energy poverty but with little consideration for the multi-dimensionality of en- ergy access and the role of demographic dy- namics. Here, we process 6 years of high-resolu- tion population, nighttime light, and settlement data for sub-Saharan Africa to derive multi- dimensional estimates of electricity access. Our results, validated against a range of sources, confirm a recent surge in electrification such that >115 million people gained access over the 2014–2019 period. Yet, they reveal wide inequal- ities in the quality of electrification, which cannot be observed in the existing statistics. The pace of electrification must more than triple to fulfill SDG 7.1.1 by 2030. Efforts could fall short if aimed solely at boosting numbers of national electricity connections.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: electricity access; energy poverty; inequality; SDG tracking; remote sensing; sub-Saharan Africa; SDG 7: sustainable development
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2020 19:33
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2020 19:41
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16421

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