Title: The Role of Clean Energy Mini-Grids in Scaling-Up Access to Electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case Study of Bissorã in Guinea-Bissau
Language: English
Authors: Sema, Gentjan 
Qualification level: Diploma
Advisor: Haas, Reinhard 
Issue Date: 2020
Number of Pages: 136
Qualification level: Diploma
Abstract: 
The lack of access to energy represents one of the biggest development challenges forSub-Saharan Africa. This is even more pronounced in Guinea-Bissau, which faces theinterlinked challenges of lack of access to energy and an unstable energy security environment.The country currently makes use of imported fossil fuels to produce its electricity. At the sametime, solar represents one of its most abundant energy resources. This study posits thehypothesis: to what extend can decentralized, clean energy mini-grids be the most effectivesolution to increase electrification rates for certain peri-urban and rural areas in in GuineaBissau? The reason this study focuses on mini-grids is intrinsically linked to their technicalcapacity of supplying electricity levels that enable productive use of energy. In order to verifythis assumption, a 500 kilowatt peak (kWp) hybrid photovoltaic (PV) mini-grid system, locatedin Bissorã, (in the Oio region of Guinea-Bissau) has been taken as an empirical example. Theresearch methods for the literature review in this study have been based on primary andsecondary sources, including site visits and conversations with various experts. Furthermore,building upon previous research and localsurveys, the study has made extensive use of differentenergy simulation platforms, while analyzing all the relevant socio-economic, technical andfinancial criteria.Results have shown that electrification in the country can be upscaled cost-effectivelythrough solar PV clean energy mini-grids (CEMGs), compared to the main grid extension,depending mainly on a given area’s population density and its distance from the grid. At thesame time, there is still a lot of work to be done, in order to introduce a regulatory frameworkin place that regulates the mini-grid sector. In addition, the study recommends the creation of arelevant government organ to coordinate integrated energy planning. The study concludes thatfurther research will be needed to properly assess the future impact of the CEMGs, and toprovide evidence-based guidance on how to fine-tune and replicate them elsewhere in GuineaBissau.

The lack of access to energy represents one of the biggest development challenges forSub-Saharan Africa. This is even more pronounced in Guinea-Bissau, which faces theinterlinked challenges of lack of access to energy and an unstable energy security environment.The country currently makes use of imported fossil fuels to produce its electricity. At the sametime, solar represents one of its most abundant energy resources. This study posits thehypothesis: to what extend can decentralized, clean energy mini-grids be the most effectivesolution to increase electrification rates for certain peri-urban and rural areas in in GuineaBissau? The reason this study focuses on mini-grids is intrinsically linked to their technicalcapacity of supplying electricity levels that enable productive use of energy. In order to verifythis assumption, a 500 kilowatt peak (kWp) hybrid photovoltaic (PV) mini-grid system, locatedin Bissorã, (in the Oio region of Guinea-Bissau) has been taken as an empirical example. Theresearch methods for the literature review in this study have been based on primary andsecondary sources, including site visits and conversations with various experts. Furthermore,building upon previous research and localsurveys, the study has made extensive use of differentenergy simulation platforms, while analyzing all the relevant socio-economic, technical andfinancial criteria.Results have shown that electrification in the country can be upscaled cost-effectivelythrough solar PV clean energy mini-grids (CEMGs), compared to the main grid extension,depending mainly on a given area’s population density and its distance from the grid. At thesame time, there is still a lot of work to be done, in order to introduce a regulatory frameworkin place that regulates the mini-grid sector. In addition, the study recommends the creation of arelevant government organ to coordinate integrated energy planning. The study concludes thatfurther research will be needed to properly assess the future impact of the CEMGs, and toprovide evidence-based guidance on how to fine-tune and replicate them elsewhere in GuineaBissau.
Keywords: Bissorã; Guinea-Bissau; Mini-Grids; Clean Energy; Scaling-Up Access; Electricity; Sub-Saharan Africa
URI: https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2020.83009
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12708/15471
DOI: 10.34726/hss.2020.83009
Library ID: AC15746336
Organisation: E017 - Continuing Education Center 
Publication Type: Thesis
Hochschulschrift
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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