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Rural electrification in sub-Saharan Africa with innovative energy policy and new financing models


This paper discusses how the 630 million sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) people can be electrified with new government policy, new renewables, and innovative business models. These initiatives are translating the ambitious goals of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) on energy and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 2015 Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise in this century well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 °C. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness to electrify the 630 million people within the Paris Agreement. Economic status and willingness to pay for electricity services by the poor are briefly analyzed for four new business models. Cost-effectiveness analyses on technologies are undertaken. The results show that a private investment-based financial model is the most effective and environmentally friendly in rural electrification for the poorest households in SSA. The new policy, new renewable energy technologies, and financing models are shaping contemporary climate strategies that facilitate investment in clean energy, spur community economy, enhance national energy security, and improve global environment.

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Correspondence to Fan Yang.

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Yang, F., Yang, M. Rural electrification in sub-Saharan Africa with innovative energy policy and new financing models. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 23, 933–952 (2018).

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  • Cost-effectiveness assessment
  • Leasing financial model analysis
  • Policy for renewable energy investment