Sub-Saharan Africa

On-Grid Solar PV versus Diesel Electricity Generation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Economics and GHG Emissions
Baurzhan and Jenkins
www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/9/3/372
Abstract:
Many power utilities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have inadequate generation capacity, unreliable services, and high costs. They also face capital constraints that restrict them from making the investments necessary for capacity expansion. Capacity shortages have compelled power utilities to use leased emergency power-generating units, mainly oil-fired diesel generators, as a short-term solution.

An economic analysis is carried out to compare the economic net present value (ENPV) of fuel savings, as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) savings, from investing capital in a solar PV power-generation plant with those from investing the same amount of funds into a diesel power plant. The results show that ENPV is negative for the solar PV plant, whereas it has a large positive value for the diesel plant.

In addition, the diesel plant would be almost three times as effective in reducing GHG emissions as the same value of investment in the solar PV plant. Even with solar investment costs falling, it will take 12 to 24 years of continuous decline before solar PV becomes cost-effective for SSA. The capital cost of solar PV would need to drop to US$1058.4 per kW to yield the same level of ENPV as the diesel plant.

DB2

DB2,

Your article source is highly suspect: From Wikipedia refering to MDPI

The publisher’s business model is based on establishing entirely open access broad-discipline journals, with fast processing times from submission to publication and article processing charges paid by the author.[4] MDPI’s business practices have resulted in significant growth but have attracted criticism, with controversies related to the quality of its peer reviews and accusations of subordination of academic functions to business interests. MDPI was included on Jeffrey Beall’s list of predatory open access publishing companies in 2019 but was removed in 2015 following a successful appeal while applying pressure on Beall’s employer. Some journals published by MDPI have also been noted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Norwegian Scientific Publication Register, two major scientific bodies, for lack of rigour and possible predatory practice.

OTFoolish

From a more reliable source here is the IEA 2022 Africa report: According to the IEA report World Energy Investment 2020, investment in Africa in 2020 was dominated by renewables. This coincided with announcements on financing and signed contracts for a number of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal projects across the continent. For example, a renewable auction programme for 120 MW of wind and solar projects was launched in Mozambique, while a tender for up to 80 MW of solar PV projects was launched in Togo. Tunisia also awarded a 100 MW project and launched a tender for another 70 MW as a continuation of the international tender it launched in 2018, which has already awarded 500 MW of solar projects. Additionally, several solar PV and wind plants were commissioned in South Africa, where a number of projects from the last bid window of its renewable auction programme in 2015 have come online following the resolution of an impasse between developers and state-owned utility Eskom in 2018.

https://www.iea.org/reports/electricity-market-report-decemb…

Petro power is only more efficent, if you measure initial price per kilowatt, and if you have access to the necessary fuel while the sun shines everywhere and always for free.

OTFoolish

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Thank you, OldTimeFool for pointing out some issues with the study Bob linked to.

I took a quick look at the study and saw they use a 12% discount rate, which helps explain why they found the diesel plants to be so much more economically efficient. Such a high discount rate means the ‘free’ electricity generated 10, 15, 20 years down the line by the solar electric panels is discounted down to virtually no value.

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Africa’s diesel generation boom
www.energymonitor.ai/sectors/power/weekly-data-africas-diese…
Some 600 million people still lack access to electricity in Africa today, shows data from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. This means just 56% of people have access to electricity, compared with 90% across the rest of the world…

To fill the electricity access gap, off-grid diesel generation is booming across the African continent. Many countries have ineffective grids, fossil fuel subsidies and growing economies hungry for power.

Data from Wood Mackenzie, a global energy consultancy, shows there are now 17 countries that have more off-grid diesel generator capacity than on-grid power generation capacity. The researchers estimate there is now roughly 100GW of operational diesel power across 39 African countries – and they describe this as a “conservative estimate”.

DB2

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