Beyond costs: a governance based approach to electricity access modelling in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Private sector investment is crucial to reaching 100% electricity access by 2030 in Sub-Saharan Africa (SDG7), and a strong enabling environment is key to unlocking it. Amongst others, governance and regulatory quality are important enabling factors. To indicate which regions in Sub-Saharan Africa are most suitable for private sector investment, this report presents an Electricity Access Governance Index (EAGI) which uses 4 different governance indicators to assess the quality of governance related to electricity access investment for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The index is included in a spatial electrification model by modifying the discount rate for each country based on EAGI scores. The model produces results for the optimal, least-cost technologies for grid-cells in Africa to provide 100% electricity access and shows that private sector investment in mini-grid and standalone technologies is needed in large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. In central Africa there is considerable potential for private sector investment in small-scale hydropower, while most of west Africa is dominated by central grid-expansion. A country case study of the DRC revealed that besides governance and regulatory quality, logistics and accessibility are key factors in determining private sector investment. For investment in Ghana a case study showed that the private sector should focus on investing in technologies to supplement the existing grid in countries with high levels of current electricity access and an unreliable grid. The results of this research can be used to inform investment strategies, and to suggest policy improvements in the countries studied.