Least Cost Rural Electrification Solutions

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Clemens Hussong
Sufficient access to electricity is not given for around 1,3 billion people. The development world faces the challenge to change that in order to drive economic development and improve livelihood of those people. 84% of those are living in rural areas. Therefore rural electrification is one of the big challenges in our days. In order to design successful rural electrification projects, they have to be efficient and the amount of power has to be sufficient.

Until now the decisions to realise a certain electrification project are made by decision maker based on an inexplicable decision making process. Often lob-byists and political forces are of a major influence. This thesis develops a pre-assessment methodology, to be applied in order to reach transparent as well as informed decisions. Therefore it adopts a very general view on rural electrification, circumventing specific local incidents. This approach might be questionable since it is shown throughout this thesis that the specific local conditions are of major influence to the success of rural electrification projects. But it enables decision makers to gain a quick first insight towards favourable possible projects. Before being governed by lobbyists and political forces. Later on feasibility studies have to incorporate details, which cannot be part of a pre-assessment.

Furthermore environmental and social costs of rural electrification measures are incorporated since it is shown throughout this thesis that they are of major influence regarding the overall or “real” costs of such projects and on the way towards sustainable development.

In order to develop a pre-assessment methodology, the economical as well as environmental and social costs, including foreseeable impacts and possible future effects of certain generation technologies, distribution schemes and tariff systems are analysed. Economic considerations are simplified and qualitative information is taken into account.

The developed methodology is reviewed carefully and it is shown, that suc-cessful rural electrification is only possible in regard to local conditions. Never-theless the pre-assessment methodology as developed provides a tool for in-formed and therefore more profound decisions.
SpecialisationSustainable Energy Planning and Management
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
ID: 79078369