Renewable Energy Strategies for Rural Africa: Is a PV-led Renewable Energy Strategy the Right Approach for Providing Modern Energy to the Rural Poor of Sub-Saharan Africa?

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Source:
Energy Policy
Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa (AFREPREN/FWD)
Authors:
S. Karekezi
W. Kithyoma
Date:
1 January 2002

This article reviews trends in the rural energy sector of Sub-Saharan Africa and discusses the limitations of over-reliance on solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. It suggests options that could have greater impact on rural clean energy development, including biomass power, solar thermal heating, wind pumps, hydropower and other cleaner fuels such as liquefied propane gasoline. Rural energy policies that emphasize a broader range of renewables targeting income-generating activities are likely to yield greater benefits to the rural poor than do policies that rely solely on solar PV, according to the article.