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Village electrification technologies: an evaluation of photovoltaic cells and compact fluorescent lamps and their applicability in rural villages based on a Tanzanian case study
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Building Technology.
Luleå University of Technology.
Tanzania Elec. Supply Company Ltd..
Luleå University of Technology.
2005 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, Vol. 33, no 10, 1287-1298 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Electrification of remote sites in developing countries is often realised trough diesel generator sets and an electric distribution network. This was also the technology used in the village Urambo, where the first rural electrification co-operative in Tanzania was started in 1994. Climate change however calls for decreased fossil fuel combustion worldwide and new technologies have been further developed since the erection of the diesel generator sets in Urambo. It is therefore not obvious that electrification of other rural areas shall follow the Urambo example.

In this article, the situation for 250 electricity consumers in Urambo will be demonstrated and the implications for them of introducing new technologies will be evaluated. Technology options regarded in the study are individual photovoltaic (PV) power systems and either incandescent lamps, tube lights or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) supplied by diesel generation. The different options have been evaluated with respect to consumer costs and environmental impact.

The results of the comparison show that PV generation is able to compete with diesel generation if combined with incandescent lamps, but not when tube lights or CFLs are used in the conventional supply system. It should be noted, however, that while the diesel option offer financially more attractive solutions, individual PV systems do not result in any CO, emissions. Furthermore, PV systems normally have a higher reliability. However, since the diesel option is not only cheaper but also offers a wider range of energy services and facilitates, future connection to the national electric grid, the conclusion is that this is preferable before individual PV systems for communities similar to Urambo, if the consumers shall pay the full cost of the service.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 33, no 10, 1287-1298 p.
Keyword [en]
rural electrification; technologies; Tanzania
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8673DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2003.12.005ISI: 000228206800006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-11244322015OAI: diva2:14056
QC 20100812Available from: 2008-06-04 Created: 2008-06-04 Last updated: 2010-08-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. And Then They Lived Sustainably Ever After?: Experiences from Rural Electrification in Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya
Open this publication in new window or tab >>And Then They Lived Sustainably Ever After?: Experiences from Rural Electrification in Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Accelerating the introduction of basic, clean energy services is seen as a key strategy for promoting sustainable development in rural areas. Still, many people worldwide lack access to modern energy such as electricity, and Africa lags behind other developing regions of the world. Support to rural electrification is therefore given high priority by the national governments and donor organisations.

There is a trend to encourage the involvement of other actors than national utilities for implementation of rural electrification. At the same time, it is required that the activities shall contribute to sustainable development.

The objective of the work presented in this thesis has been to reach increased knowledge on the impact from organisational factors on project sustainability, and to examine whether rural electrification implemented by private entrepreneurs or other non-governmental organisations contribute more effectively to sustainable development than the conventional approach where rural electrification is the responsibility of a government utility. A key activity of the research work has been to improve and develop the present methodologies used for evaluations, as to attain a more functional in-field evaluation method.

The thesis presents findings from seven rural electrification cases in Eastern and Southern Africa and shows how these can be used to illustrate different dimensions of sustainability by means of indicators. The evaluation indicates that the national utilities perform better from a social/ethical perspective, whereas the private organisations and the community-based organisations manage their client-relation issues in a more sustainable way.

In addition, a literature survey shows that among stakeholders there are a number of “concepts-taken-for-granted” as regards to rural electrification. These are not supported by the findings from the seven cases. The observed deviations between expectations and realities can obstruct the development as decision-makers may have unrealistic expectations when planning for new electrification activities. Instead, activities have to be implemented with the empirical reality in mind. By doing so the ambiguities, complexities and all the paradoxes of rural electrification can hopefully be better managed.

The study has been funded by The Swedish International Development Agency, Department for Research Cooperation (SAREC), and Ångpanneföreningen’s Foundation for Research and Development (ÅFORSK).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. XII, 63 p.
Trita-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2008:5
Rural Electrification, Sustainable Development, Indicators, Evaluations, Interdisciplinary, Africa
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4804 (URN)978-91-7415-006-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-13, L1, Lantmäterihuset, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, Stockholm, 13:00
QC 20100812Available from: 2008-06-04 Created: 2008-06-04 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

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