In many developing countries, electricity outages occur frequently with consequences for sustainable development. Moreover, within a country, region or city, the distribution of outages and their resultant impacts often vary from one locality to another. However, due to data constraints, local-scale variations in outage experiences have seldom been examined in African countries. In this study, a spatial approach is used to estimate and compare exposure to electricity load shedding outages across communities in the city of Accra, Ghana. Geographic Information System and statistics from the 2015 rolling blackouts are used to quantify neighborhood-level load shedding experiences and examine for spatial patterns. The results show that annual load shedding exposure varied greatly, ranging from 1117 to 3244 h. The exposure values exhibit statistically significant spatial clustering (Moran’s I = 0.3329, p
< 0.01). Several neighborhoods classified as load shedding hot or cold spots, clusters and outliers are also identified. Using a spatial approach to quantify load shedding exposure was helpful for overcoming the limitations of lack of fine-grained, micro-level outage data that is often necessary for such an analysis. This approach can therefore be used in other data-constrained cities and regions. The significant global spatial autocorrelation of load-shedding exposure values also suggests influence by underlying spatial processes in shaping the distribution of load shedding experiences. The resultant exposure maps provide vital information on spatial disparities in load shedding implementation, which can be used to influence decisions and policies towards all-inclusive and sustainable electrification.
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