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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X

Abstract

THIAM, Djiby Racine. Renewable energy, poverty alleviation and developing nations: Evidence from Senegal. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2011, vol.22, n.3, pp.23-34. ISSN 2413-3051.

The desire to increase energy access remains a strong driving force for poverty alleviation in rural areas of developing countries. The supply of modern energy facilitates the improvement of human living conditions and the productivity of sectors. It also contributes by reducing the time spent, mainly for women and children, in collecting biomass and therefore can provide an opportunity for an increase in the education level of children and for women empowerment. This paper shows how renewable energy facilitates the improvement of the standard of living in a Sahelian developing country of Senegal. Using a life-cycle-cost approach while integrating an assessment of the environmental externalities, I argue that in remote rural areas where grid-connection is non-existent, photovoltaic (PV) renewable technologies provide suitable solutions for delivering energy services although wind technology has been considered as well. In this framework, policies promoting the adoption of clean technologies in developing nations like Senegal could be considered as being the main components on the agenda of poverty reduction.

Keywords : poverty alleviation; electricity access; renewable technology; environmental externalities; off-grid.

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