Skip to main content
To KTH's start page To KTH's start page

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.


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


Nandi Moksnes
Nandi Moksnes Profile
Francesco Fuso-Nerini
Francesco Fuso-Nerini associate professor Profile


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

Smart City Concepts in Curitiba: Low-carbon Transport and Mobility in a Digital Society
Urban Circularity Assessment Framework
The interface of sustainability science and bioenergy systems
Using the sustainable development goals for shaping holistic energy programs, projects and policies
The Clean Cooking Explorer platform for Nepal
Geospatial Analysis and Electrification Investment Scenario Preparation for Yemen
Capacity building on geospatial electrification analysis for industrializing countries
Capturing emissions in least-cost electrification planning
Assessment of the potential for battery storage to provide affordable electricity access through solar PV mini-grids in West Africa
Mwinda Project: Data-driven solutions for people-centered electrification in the DRC
Preparation of an Indicative Least Cost Geospatial Electrification Plan To Achieve Universal Access In Somalia
Preparation of an Indicative Least Cost Geospatial Electrification Plan to Achieve Universal Access in Benin
World Energy Outlook 2019
Least-cost electrification Pathways for Benin
The Global Electrification Platform
Least-cost electrification Pathways for Madagascar
The UNECE nexus assessment of the Drin River Basin
Climate, Land and Energy Analytical study of Potential Nexus Issues in Jordan and Morocco
OPM Ethiopia project “Energy system development pathways in Ethiopia”
National energy planning and policy support for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals
Bio-based circular model for sustainable urban economies
Chemical Recycling for Circular Flows of Plastic Waste
African Power Pool Modelling
Assessing the sustainability of bioethanol production in different development contexts: a systems approach
Assessing the Water-Land-Energy-Food Nexus in trans-boundary river basins
Bioethanol strategy for Indonesia
Biogas based poly-generation for rural development in Bangladesh
Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) in China’s power plants
Climate Vulnerability of African Countries (completed projects)
Cost optimal pathways for the Cypriot energy system
Country level CLEWs
Developing an electricity supply model for Cyprus
Development of long-term energy projections for African countries
Development of the Model Management Infrastructure (MoManI) interface
Electricity Access in the Brazilian Amazon
Electrification paths for developing countries
Energy systems-CGE modelling Link up for pilot countries
Energy Systems Analysis Agency
Estimating Investment Needs for the Power Sector in the Africa Region
Fuel options for public bus fleets in Sweden
Global CLEWs model (completed projects)
INSIGHT_E: An energy think tank informing the European Commission
INSISTS Sustainable Bioenergy Development in Indonesia
Nexus assessment of the North West Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS)
Open Geospatial Data for Energy Access
OpeN Source Spatial Electrification Toolkit (ONSSET)
Oskarshamn CLEWs
Providing rural energy access in developing countries
Renewable energy mapping for Africa
Robust Energy and Climate Indicators for the Steel Industry
About the project
Urban Smart Grids in Brazil
Supporting the Design of Sustainable Development Policies with Policy Modelling Tools
The Development of Bioethanol Markets under Sustainability Requirements
The Electricity Model Base for Africa (TEMBA)
CO2 Emissions and Energy Efficiency in Sweden
Uganda 100% Renewable by 2050
About the project
Wireless Bus Stop Charging