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Open AccessArticle

Supporting Electrification Policy in Fragile States: A Conflict-Adjusted Geospatial Least Cost Approach for Afghanistan

Division of Energy Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvägen 68, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
World Resources Institute, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois St., Golden, CO 80 401, USA
Department of Geography, Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) Program, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough LE11 3TU, Leicestershire, UK
Geomatics and Engineering Department, Kabul Polytechnic University, Bagh-e-Bala Road, 5th District, Kabul 1010, Afghanistan
The World Bank Group, Washington, DC 40433, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 777;
Received: 11 November 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 15 January 2020 / Published: 21 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Economics and Policy)
Roughly two billion people live in areas that regularly suffer from conflict, violence, and instability. Infrastructure development in those areas is very difficult to implement and fund. As an example, electrification systems face major challenges such as ensuring the security of the workforce or reliability of power supply. This paper presents electrification results from an explorative methodology, where the costs and risks of conflict are explicitly considered in a geo-spatial, least cost electrification model. Discount factor and risk premium adjustments are introduced per technology and location in order to examine changes in electrification outlooks in Afghanistan. Findings indicate that the cost optimal electrification mix is very sensitive to the local context; yet, certain patterns emerge. Urban populations create a strong consumer base for grid electricity, in some cases even under higher risk. For peri-urban and rural areas, electrification options are more sensitive to conflict-induced risk variation. In this paper, we identify these inflection points, quantify key decision parameters, and present policy recommendations for universal electrification of Afghanistan by 2030. View Full-Text
Keywords: Afghanistan; conflict; geospatial electrification; OnSSET; Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Afghanistan; conflict; geospatial electrification; OnSSET; Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
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Korkovelos, A.; Mentis, D.; Bazilian, M.; Howells, M.; Saraj, A.; Fayez Hotaki, S.; Missfeldt-Ringius, F. Supporting Electrification Policy in Fragile States: A Conflict-Adjusted Geospatial Least Cost Approach for Afghanistan. Sustainability 2020, 12, 777.

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