Next Article in Journal
Reliable Biomass Supply Chain Design under Feedstock Seasonality and Probabilistic Facility Disruptions
Next Article in Special Issue
Dynamic Equivalent Modeling of a Grid-Tied Microgrid Based on Characteristic Model and Measurement Data
Previous Article in Journal
Fault Ride-through Capability Enhancement of Voltage Source Converter-High Voltage Direct Current Systems with Bridge Type Fault Current Limiters
Previous Article in Special Issue
Comparative Analysis of Solar-Powered Base Stations for Green Mobile Networks
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Visualizing National Electrification Scenarios for Sub-Saharan African Countries

Reiner Lemoine Institut gGmbH, Rudower Chaussee 12, 12489 Berlin, Germany
School of Energy Systems, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta, Finland
Justus Liebig University Gießen, Senckenbergstraße 1, 35390 Gießen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2017, 10(11), 1899;
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
PDF [3508 KB, uploaded 18 November 2017]


Some 630 million people representing two-thirds of all Africans have no access to electricity, which is identified as a key barrier towards further development. Three main electrification options are considered within our work: grid extensions, mini-grids and solar home systems (SHS). A methodology is applied to all sub-Saharan African countries to identify in high geospatial resolution which electrification option is appropriate taking into account datasets for night light imagery, population distribution and grid infrastructure. Four different scenarios are considered reflecting grid development and electrification constraints due to low population density. The results clearly indicate a dominating role of SHS for achieving a fast electrification of the not supplied people. The share of supplied people by mini-grids is found to be rather low while grid extension serves a large share of the population. The decisive factors for these distinctions are population density and distance to grid. We applied several scenarios and sensitivities to understand the influence of these key parameters. The highest trade-off happens between SHS and grid extension depending on the selected thresholds. Mini-grid deployments remain in the range of 8 to 21%. View Full-Text
Keywords: off-grid; rural electrification; solar home systems; mini-grid; grid extension; geographic information system (GIS); sub-Saharan Africa off-grid; rural electrification; solar home systems; mini-grid; grid extension; geographic information system (GIS); sub-Saharan Africa

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bertheau, P.; Oyewo, A.S.; Cader, C.; Breyer, C.; Blechinger, P. Visualizing National Electrification Scenarios for Sub-Saharan African Countries. Energies 2017, 10, 1899.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Energies EISSN 1996-1073 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top