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Preparation of an Indicative Least Cost Geospatial Electrification Plan To Achieve Universal Access In Somalia

KTH, Kartoza and Recon Energy partnered to develop an indicative least-cost geospatial electrification plan to achieve universal access in Somalia. As part of the project, data was collected from local stakeholders, an open-source electrification model based on the OnSSET tool was developed, and an online visualization platform and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for geospatial energy-related data were set up. Furthermore, several workshops were held to collect stakeholder inputs, disseminate results and train stakeholder on the model and platform.

Background

The World Bank puts the Somali energy sector as one of the most underdeveloped in the region. Low electrification rates, especially in rural areas, high cost of power, high technical and commercial losses, dependency on imported petroleum products for electricity generation, and reliance on biomass resources for cooking mean that only a very small fraction of the Somali population has access to affordable, safe, reliable, and predictable energy services.

In urban areas, diesel-powered mini-grids owned by private entities or NGOs account for most of Somalia’s power supply. The growth of private mini-grid energy services providers (all local entrepreneurs) has been accompanied by an increase in mergers and joint ventures, as well as increased integration of renewable energy into their generation mix as costs for these technologies have come down.

The World Bank estimates Somalia’s electricity access at 15 percent, meaning that around 11 million Somalis lack access to electricity. Urban access is estimated at 33 percent, and rural access at 4 percent. With an average household size of 5.9, this translates to approximately 1.8 million un-electrified households nationwide. Private sector players supply more than 90 percent of power in urban and peri-urban areas using local private mini-grids, having invested in diesel-based systems of between 500 kVA to 5,000 kVA installed capacity per mini-grid. These mini-grids are usually zoned, with each operator building, owning, and operating the generation, transmission, distribution and maintenance, as well as collecting tariffs.

The Federal Government of Somalia (the Government) is currently implementing Somali Electricity Project (SEAP), with grant funding from World Bank. The project development objective of SEAP is to expand access to electricity in targeted urban, peri-urban, and rural communities.

This component will focus on complementary analytical work to begin filling the information gaps in the mini-grid space. This work will focus on better understanding the current mini-grid landscape, preparing pre-feasibility studies for improving performance and quality of service at existing mini-grid sites, and laying the analytical groundwork for future financing of new mini-grid sites and establishing mini-grid market context and enabling environment for investment activities.

Aim and objectives

The scope of work encompasses the preparation of a GIS database of relevant layers and a geospatial least-cost electrification options analysis for use by the government in preparation of electrification strategy and investment pipeline for mini-grids in Somalia. The detailed geospatial analysis will consider, based on good practice and international experience, possible least-cost options for electrification, provide a sound strategic basis to implement systematically staged grid extensions and the deployment of off-grid technologies (mini-grids and standalone systems) powered by cost-effective renewable energy supply where appropriate, and indicative investment requirements for on-grid and off-grid access delivery modalities.

Project partners

Project partners: Kartoza, Recon Energy

Funding is provided by the Ministry of Energy and Water, Federal Government of Somalia.

Timeframe: 2020 - 2021

Researchers

asahl
khavari
oluchi
Nandi Moksnes
Nandi Moksnes
doctoral student
Francesco Fuso-Nerini
Francesco Fuso-Nerini
associate professor

Publications

  1. Electrification scenarios developed under this project can be explored on the Somalia Electrification Platform: somalielectrification.so/gep

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