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The Influence of Diesel Fuel Subsidies and Taxes on the Potential for Solar-Powered Hybrid Systems in Africa (Bertheau et al. 2014)

Paul Bertheau, Catherina Cader, Hendrik Huyskens, Philipp Blechinger

Resources 2015, 4, 673-691, Special Issue Alternative Energy Sources in Developing and Developed Regions


Many people in African countries lack access to sufficient electricity supply due to missing infrastructure of the centralized conventional power generation system. In order to provide electricity to a wider part of the population, it is necessary to exploit the vast renewable resources in African countries. Therefore, this paper scrutinizes the economic advantages of photovoltaic-based hybrid systems over fossil fuel-based power generation. A simulation model is applied in order to calculate the cost advantage of hybrid systems compared to diesel-only systems for the entire continent on a long term basis by applying two scenarios: one based on world market diesel prices and the other one based on national diesel prices. The results indicate that average power generation costs per country can be reduced by up to 0.11 €/kWh considering world market diesel prices and by up to 0.48 €/kWh considering national diesel prices. Furthermore, the effect of diesel fuel subsidies and taxes on the renewable energy potential and the respective savings are examined. These findings may ameliorate the policy development according to fossil fuel subsidies and taxes and demonstrate the advantages of decentralized renewable hybrid systems especially in rural areas of Africa.

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