Publication - Demand in the Dark: Estimating the True Scale of Unmet Electricity Demand in Sub-Saharan Africa
Demand in the Dark: Estimating the True Scale of Unmet Electricity Demand in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sankalp Garg, Benjamin Attia, Brad Handler, Morgan Bazilian
Understanding the scale of energy poverty remains elusive. It is, however, a key metric in the global effort to eradicate poverty. The analysis presented in this paper provides insights into the true scale and impacts of unreliable electricity service provision. The paper introduces a simple and novel approach to quantifying the difference between electricity supply and demand, accounting for both met and unmet demand in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To assess unmet demand, generator use, reduced utilization due to unreliable electricity service, unrealized demand from unelectrified households, and the effect of tariff reductions are considered. We find that at 2018 prices, SSA (excluding South Africa) on-grid power networks had annual unmet demand of 8.83 TWh for on-grid users and 42.9 TWh with the inclusion of the off-grid sector. With a 50% reduction in tariff by country, the on-grid power sector would face a 21.46 TWh of unmet demand in the region, rising to 55.53 TWh with the inclusion of off-grid.