This book presents new research on solar mini-grids and the ways they can be designed and implemented to provide equitable and affordable electricity access, while ensuring economic sustainability and replication.
Drawing on a detailed analysis of solar mini-grid projects in Senegal, the book provides invaluable insights into energy provision and accessibility which are highly relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Global South more generally. Importantly, the book situates mini-grids in rural villages within the context of the broader dynamics of national- and international-level factors, including emerging system innovation and socio-technical transitions to green technologies. The book illustrates typical challenges and potential solutions for practitioners, policymakers, donors, investors and international agencies. It demonstrates the decisive roles of suitable policies and regulations for private-sector-led mini-grids and explains why these policies and regulations must be different from those that are designed as part of an established, centralized electricity regime.
Written by both academics and technology practitioners, this book will be of great interest to those researching and working on energy policy, energy provision and access, solar power and renewable energy, and sustainable development more generally.
Table of Contents
1. Solar energy, mini-grids, and private sector initiatives 2. Just come and invest! The energy system context 3. The local context 4. The socio-technical design 5. Findings on how the model functioned in practice and why 6. Resulting access to electricity and the perspectives and experiences of the people in the villages 7. Replication – influenced by factors at multiple scales 8. Conclusions, part one: Lessons for how to do mini-grids 9. Conclusions, part two: The structural challenges
Kirsten Ulsrud is a postdoc research fellow in human geography at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway.
Charles Muchunku is an independent renewable energy consultant in Kenya with 15 years of experience in the renewable energy sector in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Debajit Palit is an associate director and senior fellow at the Rural Energy and Livelihoods Division at TERI in India, with 20 years of experience working in the field of clean energy access, rural electrification policy and regulation, distributed generation, and solar photovoltaics.
Gathu Kirubi is a lecturer at the Department of Environmental Sciences at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a PhD from University of California, Berkeley on off-grid rural electrification in Africa.