Projects
January 2017 / December 2018

For a Sustainable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa - SETiSSA



Since 2000, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has seen rapid economic growth, expanding population, improving social conditions and progressive political liberalization. On the basis of these trends, SSA energy use has risen by 45% since 2000.

In this framework, making energy reliable and widely affordable for the population has been and continues to be a key challenge in the sub-continent. Efforts to promote energy access are gaining momentum all over the sub-continent, but are outpaced by population growth. In order to meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of universal energy access by 2030, substantial investments will be needed in both on-grid and off-grid energy solutions. New energy financing schemes might also be needed to foster investments.

Notwithstanding the importance and size of these challenges, SSA’s energy sector remains one of the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system. In this context, the project aims to contribute to the understanding of SSA’s current and future energy challenges and opportunities. In particular, the project will explore the potential for a joint development of both renewable energy technologies and natural gas to ensure an economically-efficient and reliable solution of both the challenges of energy access and environmental sustainability.

Main Results and Outputs
The main objective is to explore the future of energy in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on the complementary role of renewable energy technologies and natural gas to ensure an economically-efficient and reliable solution to both the challenges of energy access and environmental sustainability.

Main outputs:

  • Assess SSA’s energy demand prospects, with a key focus on energy access; 
  • Assess SSA’s renewable energy and natural gas resources; 
  • Explore the policies needed to incentivize the required energy investments; 
  • Explore the potential for regional cooperation to allow economies of scale; 
  • Assess the potential role of international organizations and international financial institutions in fostering SSA’s energy transition.
Project team
Project leader
Related areas
Energy and the economy
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Energy policy and governance
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Energy and the environment
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