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Reference Number ES/T006684/2
Title Sustainability, inclusiveness and governance of mini-grids in Africa (SIGMA)
Status Started
Energy Categories OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electricity transmission and distribution) 25%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Energy system analysis) 25%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 25%;
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Demographics) 25%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Development Studies) 50%;
AREA STUDIES (Middle Eastern and African Studies) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 10%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 50%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 20%;
Principal Investigator Dr SC Bhattacharyya
No email address given
Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP)
University of Dundee
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 March 2022
End Date 31 August 2023
Duration 18 months
Total Grant Value £751,938
Industrial Sectors
Region Scotland
Programme ESRC - RCUK GCRF - Grants
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr SC Bhattacharyya , Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP), University of Dundee (99.992%)
  Other Investigator Dr R Gammon , Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), De Montfort University (0.001%)
Dr M A Oyinlola , Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), De Montfort University (0.001%)
Dr L Baker , School of Business Management &Economics, University of Sussex (0.001%)
Dr A Pueyo , Research Department, Institute of Development Studies (0.001%)
Dr B Muok , Sci and Tech Policy Analysis and Trainin, African Centre for Technology Studies (0.001%)
Dr RP Byrne , University of Sussex Business School, University of Sussex (0.001%)
Professor A Hatamimarbini , Strategic Management and Marketing, De Montfort University (0.001%)
Dr E K Onsongo , Kenyan Hub, Ctr for Frugal Innovation in Africa CFIA (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives The main aim of this proposal is to improve our understanding of sustainability, inclusiveness and governance of mini-grids in general and those in sub-Saharan Africa in particular by developing an improved evidence base and a multi-dimensional appreciation of issues and challenges that can support better decision-making for universal electrification globally.The main objectives of this proposal are the following:O1: Develop an evidence base on mini-grid performance in sub-Saharan Africa through an extensive review of local literature, available data with project partners and by undertaking primary data collection from existing mini-grid projects and related stakeholders (project owners, users, funding agencies, regulatory bodies, technology suppliers, and other intermediaries) through field visits, interviews, focus groups and surveys in selected African countries (namely Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania) and develop a database of mini-grid projects;O2: Develop a framework to analyse political economy of energy access and a sustainability framework of mini-grids in developing countries, with a special emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa.O3: Undertake in-depth case studies of mini-grid sustainability, inclusiveness and governance in four countries of sub-Saharan Africa (namely Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania) considering technical design (renewable, hybrid, or diesel based), ownership (e.g. private, NGO managed, and public mini-grids), financial condition, regulatory environment, social embeddedness and environmental impacts. We would then draw comparisons across countries and across different dimensions to analyse the main issues for mini-grids in SSA and to identify which model performs better for access, financial viability, technical sustainability, and social inclusiveness. The sub-objectives of this broad activity include:O3.1: Analyse the political economy of mini-grids in the case country countries of this project;O3.2: Investigate the issues related to financing of mini-grids in the case study countries and identify ways to overcome them;O3.3: Explore the governance arrangements for successful mini-grid development, including scaling-up and replication of mini-grids;O4: Organise dissemination and communication activities for impact.05: Develop research collaboration and build research capacity through on the job training of research assistants and research fellows, participation in exchange programmes and research uptake events and networking.
Abstract With approximately one billion people lacking access to electricity in the world, nothing short of a socio-technical transformation is required to reach the objectives of universal electrification by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 600 million lacking access to electricity, requires a special attention. Although off-grid and decentralised solutions are expected to play a significant role and mini-grids are assumed to be a game changer for a rapid, cost-effective, pro-poor, universal electrification globally, the green mini-grid sector has not grown rapidly. Progress has been patchy between and within countries, across rural areas and informal urban settlements and between high and low-income communities. Among the barriers to scaling up mini-grids in Africa are lack of mini-grid specific regulatory framework, unproven business models, demand uncertainty, limited access to finance and lack of capacity.The main aim of this proposal is to improve our understanding of sustainability, inclusiveness and governance of mini-grids in general and those in sub-Saharan Africa in particular, by developing an improved evidence base and a multi-dimensional appreciation of issues and challenges that can support better decision-making for universal electrification globally. The project has been conceptualised through a collaborative process involving a team of UK-based researchers and research teams from four sub-Saharan Africa countries (namely Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania).We have identified four main research questions. 1) Which business models have succeeded to deliver financially and technically viable mini-grids in SSA? 2) Who and what have been the key beneficiaries of mini-grids in the case study countries and in what way? 3) Who drives or hinders the proliferation and the speed of adoption of mini-grids in East and West Africa? 4) What governance, regulatory and policy frameworks for decentralised systems of electricity provision exist in each case study country, how successful have they been and how do they differ?Our analytical approach sits at the intersection of human geography, development studies, engineering and sustainability transitions. The research is necessarily inter-disciplinary in order to understand complex interactions between financial, technological, political, socio-economic and cultural factors. We plan to develop a political economy framework and a sustainability framework to analyse electricity access in developing countries, with a particular focus on mini-grids. Our case studies (two from West Africa, Nigeria and Senegal and two from East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania) present fascinating grounds for comparison and have been selected on the basis of their diversity of governance models and differing levels of decentralised electricity provisions within their specific national and sub-national contexts.The work is organised in seven work packages and will be delivered over a period of 36 months. We would undertake an extensive review of literature on mini-grids, sustainability, governance, political economy and inclusiveness covering (WP1). We plan to develop our analytical frameworks at the end of this task. In WP2, we would focus on building the evidence base by collecting relevant information on mini-grids and developing a mini-grids database for four countries of our study. The database will then be used to analyse the status of mini-grids in each case study country. WP 3, 4 and 5 are devoted to analysis of sustainability, inclusiveness and governance of mini-grids. This will be done at the level of each country and also at cross-country comparative level. WP6 is devoted to communication, dissemination and impact generation activities while WP7 is devoted to project management. The novelty of the proposal lies in its evidence-based approach to uncover challenges of mini-grids and to develop strategies for successful businesses that are sustainable and inclusive
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/10/22