Achieving universal electrification in Africa
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Universal rural electrification is a worthwhile target, but requires subsidy. This is because rural electrification targets remote, spread-out customers, which raises connection costs. The lower incomes of rural populations relative to urban dwellers also makes rural electrification financially unviable. This presentation argues that private sector mini-grids have a critical role in delivering universal electrification to at least 100 million people in Africa for the least amount of public subsidy. The study demonstrates that, for these 100 million people, mini-grids are the most cost-effective means of providing electricity. It also argues that mini-grids and the main grid will ultimately integrate to form the grid of the future, which means that mini-grids are not a dead end or a stop-gap measure. And, finally, the presentation shows that mini-grids facilitate private utilities, enabling them to serve rural customers better and faster.