The benefits of geospatial planning in energy access – A case study on Ethiopia

Mentis, D., Andersson, M., Howells, M., Rogner, H. ORCID:, Siyal, S., Broad, O., Korkovelos, A., & Bazilian, M. (2016). The benefits of geospatial planning in energy access – A case study on Ethiopia. Applied Geography 72 1-13. 10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.04.009.

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Access to clean and affordable modern energy is crucial to fostering social and economic development and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Efficient policy frameworks and effective electrification programs are required in order to ensure that people are electrified in a sustainable manner. These programs differ from country to country depending on geographic and socioeconomic conditions. Electrification planning process must consider the geographical characteristics of the resources as well as the spatial dimension of social and economic drivers of energy demand in order to find the most optimal energy access solution. Geographical theory and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in particular can play a significant role in electrification planning, since they are capable of managing the data needed in the decision making process and may integrate and assess all possible options. This paper focuses on considering these characteristics by applying a recently developed GIS based methodology to inform electrification planning and strategies in Ethiopia. The paper illustrates two major aspects of energy planning; 1.) how the optimal electrification mix is influenced by a range of parameters – including population density, existing and planned transmission networks and power plants, economic activities, tariffs for grid-based electricity, technology costs for mini-grid and off-grid systems, and fuel costs for consumers and 2.) how the electrification mix differs from location to location. For a certain level of energy access, on-grid connections would be optimal for the majority of the new connections in Ethiopia; grid extension constitutes the lowest cost option for approximately 93% of the newly electrified population in this modelling effort with 2030 as time horizon. However, there are some remote areas with low population density where a mini-grid (ca. 6%) or a stand-alone solution (ca. 1%) are the most economic options. Depending on local resource availability, these systems deploy varied combinations of solar, wind, hydro and diesel technologies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: GIS; Energy planning; Energy access
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 06:45
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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