Promoting socially and environmentally sustainable social enterprise

Why private finance is not filling the electricity supply funding gap in sub-Saharan Africa

Keith Palmer challenges the conventional view that the way to increase electricity consumption and grid access is to invest more in generating capacity regardless of cost.

The paper shows that consumption of electricity and grid access are constrained by lack of demand, the result of high billing costs and low incomes of the vast majority. The high cost of IPP capacity contracted over recent decades has increased billing costs in most countries, reducing household consumption and ability to access the grid.

If consumption and access are to increase more rapidly and better environmental outcomes are to be achieved then actions will be needed to drive down generation costs and increase the share of renewables in generation portfolios and stimulate more investment by priority business customers by reducing the cost and improving the reliability of their electricity supply.

The paper can be accessed here.

Keith is EfD’s Chair of Trustees.

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