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Open AccessArticle

Proposing a Paradigm Shift in Rural Electrification Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa through Agriculture

Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (iBO), Centre for Research and Technology–Hellas (CERTH), 6th km Charilaou-Thermi Rd, GR 57001 Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece
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Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3096; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083096
Received: 20 March 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 12 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green, Closed Loop, Circular Bio-Economy)
Almost one billion people in the world still do not have access to electricity. Most of them live in rural areas of the developing world. Access to electricity in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa is only 28%, roughly 600 million people. The financing of rural electrification is challenging and, in order to accomplish higher private sector investments, new innovative business models have to be developed. In this paper, a new approach in the financing of microgrid electrification activities is proposed and investigated. In this approach, agriculture related businesses take the lead in the electrification activities of the surrounding communities. It is shown that the high cost of rural electrification can be met through the increased value of locally produced products, and cross-subsidization can take place in order to decrease the cost of household electrification. The approach is implemented in a case study in Rwanda, through which the possibility of local agricultural cooperatives leading electrification activities is demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: developing world; rural electrification; Sub-Saharan Africa; energy; agriculture developing world; rural electrification; Sub-Saharan Africa; energy; agriculture
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Kyriakarakos, G.; Balafoutis, A.T.; Bochtis, D. Proposing a Paradigm Shift in Rural Electrification Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa through Agriculture. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3096.

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