Title: Universal access to electricity in Burkina Faso: scaling-up renewable energy technologies
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS vol. 11 no. 8 p. 084010
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC100635
ISSN: 1748-9326
URI: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084010/pdf
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084010
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This paper describes the status quo of the power sector in Burkina Faso, its limitations, and develops a new methodology that through spatial analysis processes with the aim to provide a possible pathway for universal electricity access. Following the SE4All initiative approach, it recommends the more extensive use of distributed renewable energy systems to increase access to electricity on an accelerated timeline. Less than 5% of the rural population in Burkina Faso have currently access to electricity and supply is lacking at many social structures such as schools and hospitals. Energy access achievements in Burkina Faso are still very modest. According to the latest SE4All Global Tracking Framework (2015), the access to electricity annual growth rate in Burkina Faso from 2010-2012 is 0%. The rural electrification strategy for Burkina Faso is scattered in several electricity sector development policies: there is a need of defining a concrete action plan. Planning and coordination between grid extension and the off-grid electrification programme is essential to reach a long-term sustainable energy model and prevent high avoidable infrastructure investments. This paper goes into details on the methodology and findings of the developed Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tool. The aim of the dynamic planning tool is to provide support to the national government and development partners to define an alternative electrification plan. Burkina Faso proves to be paradigm case for the methodology as its national policy for electrification is still dominated by grid extension and the government subsidizing fossil fuel electricity production. However, the results of our analysis suggest that the current grid extension is becoming inefficient and unsustainable in order to reach the national energy access targets. The results also suggest that Burkina Faso’s rural electrification strategy should be driven local renewable resources to power distributed mini-grids. We find that this approach would connect more people to power more quickly, and would reduce fossil fuel use that would otherwise be necessary for grid extension options.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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