Electrification: Part 1

by Developed Africa 8. May 2014 09:00

Electrification involves a lot of work and effort, but the outcomes are extraordinary, we take a look at the process African countries are going through to get there.

There is no doubt that great steps have been made in bringing electricity to more and more people across the continent, as well as a concerted effort to bring it to rural areas, for example, the Energy Minister for Mozambique has reported that:

In 2004, we had 1.3 million people with electricity in their homes, and today 10.2 million people have electricity. 6.5 million obtain electricity from the national grid, while 3.7 million receive power from solar panels"

This is an impressive spike in numbers of people with access to electricity, as well as being a good example of how electricity can be brought to those who cannot access the grid network. But there is still a long way to go, even though this statistic from Mozambique is an impressive one, it still means that 60% of the population are without electricity. Especially in rural areas there is a desperate need for electrification, but a big problem is financing this. It isn't the production that is the problem, but charging people once it is installed appears to be the difficult part. So a solution to the rural electrification problem is localised off-grid generation, because:

micro-generation projects may be able to avoid some of the payment and credit problems, as well as the political interference and corruption, that bedevil large-scale centralised generation and transmission systems."

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