This thesis presents analytical advances to support quantitative insights into national and local policies for achieving energy access goals. The key objective is the creation of an analytical tool to compare technology options for achieving energy access goals and to estimate the cost of reaching those goals. To achieve that objective, the thesis is divided into three interconnected and complementary foci.
A pillar for such an analytical tool is an effective energy access metric. As the old adage goes: you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Therefore, the first focus of this thesis is on aspects of measuring energy access. In this thesis, energy access is not considered as a binary metric (access or no access) but as a service-oriented metric including information on how energy is used. Measuring the status of both current and future energy access-and-use goals (as well as tracking the progress in between) is crucial for supporting planning and choosing technology approaches. Different metrics are investigated and priority is given to two families of metrics: those useful for tracking the progress of energy access-and-use with available data, and those adequate for supporting future energy planning. In this context, special emphasis is given to one metric for each of these two groups: first to the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index (MEPI) and second to the World Bank’s Multi-Tier framework. The MEPI is assessed for as wide a set of countries as possible. The index appears effective to evaluate the status and recent trends in energy access-and-use at the national and regional scale with readily available data. For instance, MEPI results show how the intensity of energy poverty consistently decreases over time in all countries considered. Foci two and three of this thesis rely on the Multi-Tier framework. The Multi-Tier framework appears to be effective (and increasingly adopted) for setting energy access targets and evaluating the implications of those targets on technology choices and costs.
The second focus of this thesis concentrates on a limited set of case studies to gain insights and develop tools for policy support and national energy planning (focus 3). In fact, information from local energy access studies might be scaled up to advise national and regional-scale energy access planning. In this part, three case studies are evaluated. The first is a multi-criteria analysis (MCA) comparing electrification options in the Brazilian Amazon that explores selected techno-economic, environmental, social and institutional criteria. The multi-criteria analysis shows how renewable and hybrid systems present a number of advantages for application in isolated areas of the region compared to the current dominate practice of using diesel generators. Furthermore, the study outputs reveal key drivers to consider when choosing among electrification options. This provides a basis for contextualizing the electrification tool developed in focus three of the thesis. Specifically, techno-economic criteria provide the backbone of the tool while the remaining parameters offer guidelines for its case-by-case implementation. The second study focuses on the cost-comparison of technology approaches for electrification and cooking. A local level energy system optimization model for a rural village in Timor Leste shows that, in the period 2010-2030, achieving the highest tier of electricity access could be as much as 75 times more costly than achieving the lowest tier. In addition, when moving across tiers, least cost solutions shift from stand-alone to mini-grid and finally grid connected options as electricity access increases. On the other hand, regarding cooking, moving from open fires to some of the more modern solutions has the potential to reduce overall costs over the same period. In the case study, the determinants of the costs of electrification projects are identified. These include (i) target level and quality of energy access, (ii) population density, (iii) local grid connection characteristics and (iv) local energy resource availability, fuel type and technology cost. The third case study analyzes the role of productive uses of energy for both local development and energy access. It adds a piece in the energy access puzzle looking both at the role and costs associated with energy in productive activities, and at the potential role of productive activities for powering rural populations up to different tiers of energy access. The analysis develops an analytical framework to assess and support productive uses of energy in agriculture. The resulting framework is then applied to a specific case of sisal production in rural Tanzania. Results from the case study show how combining the planning of energy access with productive uses could result in win-win-win solutions for the local utilities, companies and residents. This case study provides essential insights into how new policy tools may develop, moving beyond simple household use.
Finally, the third focus area expands and applies insights gained from the previous case study sections to develop generalized, simplified and scalable models. Key outputs from this thesis thus include both a tool and its corresponding guidelines. The first thesis output considers a deliberately simple model for comparing technology options that support electricity access-and-use goals. The second thesis output provides a series of suggestions for using it to inform electrification planning. When given an electricity access target, the tool permits a cost-comparison of technology approaches under a combination of local characteristics such as population density, resource availability, fossil fuel prices and generation technology costs amongst other things. Furthermore, the cases studies developed in focus two of the thesis provides guidelines on how to structure similar tools for cooking energy access and energy for other productive uses. The easily adaptable model is developed in such a way that it might also be used in geo-spatial toolkits, the utility of which is demonstrated in country specific, geographic information system (GIS) based, electrification analyses. These include applications to Nigeria, Ethiopia and India, presented in this dissertation, as well as to the case studies of all 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, developed in subsequent work to this dissertation. The applications of the tool show how the strategy for expanding electricity access may vary significantly both between and within given regions of energy-poor countries.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 50 p.
Zerriffi, Hisham, Assoc. Prof
Howells, Mark, Prof.