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Title: Multi-criteria energy system optimisation considering social and political sustainability objectives : cases in sub-Saharan Africa
Author: Trotter, Philipp
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 4128
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2019
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More than 650 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to modern forms of energy, constituting over half of the global unelectrified population. Aside from financial, institutional and regulatory shortfalls, technical know-how gaps have led to deficiencies in national and international energy planning efforts in the region. This thesis, written as a PhD by publication based on six academic journal articles, addresses a number of these shortfalls. The first paper constitutes the literature review, identifying severe methodological and content gaps in energy planning research in sub-Saharan Africa. The second paper reveals the existence of important social (high sub-national electrification inequalities) and political (institutional and regime-type factors) aspects in sub-Saharan Africa, which are crucial to understanding the region's electrification. As a result, both the third and fourth paper include different political risk minimisation objectives in novel, multi-criteria energy planning optimisation models of the continental African, and the regional Southern African Power Pool, respectively. Building on these models, a third national-level energy planning model incorporates social objectives of minimising sub-national electrification inequalities and is applied to Uganda in the fifth paper. The multi-criteria models reveal optimal, and in several cases, comparably cheap social and political risk mitigation strategies. Notably, in all three model applications, higher solar energy shares in the generation mix are the cost-minimal way of achieving politically and sociallymore desirable energy systems. Solar energy's favourability is due to falling costs, its flexibility in terms of location, size and type, as well as its decentral abundance in Africa. The sixth paper performs a qualitative analysis of current multilateral African electrification implementation efforts. It argues that achieving electrification at scale requires a re-orientation of current international initiatives towards pro-poor strategies, including increased financial and know-how transfers as well as regulatory environments benefitting the local African public and private sector. In summary, the thesis shows the high importance of social and political objectives for energy planning and implementation in Africa, and suggests different ways how such factors can be incorporated into multi-criteria optimisation models at various scales.
Supervisor: Maconachie, Roy ; McManus, Marcelle Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available