Smart and Just Grids: Opportunities for sub-Saharan Africa

Smart and Just Grids : Opportunities for sub-Saharan Africa / Morgan Bazilian, et al. Imperial College London, 2011, 32 p.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/energyfutureslab/resources/briefingpapers

Some of the well-known and emerging concepts, systems and technologies of Smart Grids may offer an important contribution to universal access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. We argue that these Smart Grid advances may enable sub-Saharan African countries to leapfrog elements of traditional power systems in terms of both technology and regulation. This could accelerate national and regional electrification timeframes, improving service delivery, minimizing costs and reducing environmental impact.
We introduce the notion of Just Grids to reflect the need for power systems to contribute towards equitable and inclusive global, economic and social development. While Smart Grids may provide an efficient mechanism to address the massive electricity infrastructure building requirements, Just Grids will help guarantee access to modern energy services without marginalizing the poor. This paper presents the concept of Smart and Just Grids, and considers specific priorities that could usefully be implemented in sub-Saharan Africa in the short-term. It reviews the literature, provides a foundation for policy development, and suggests areas for further, more detailed research. (copyright © Morgan Bazilian)


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