SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.22 issue3Outdoor testing of amorphous and crystalline silicon solar panels at ThohoyandouThe impact of health behaviour change intervention on indoor air pollution indicators in the rural North West Province, South Africa author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

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

J. energy South. Afr. vol.22 n.3 Cape Town  2011


Renewable energy, poverty alleviation and developing nations: Evidence from Senegal



Djiby Racine Thiam

Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée, Cedex, France




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



Full text available only in pdf format.



The author would like to thank David Ince for his comments and suggestions.



Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Demographie (ANSD) (2007). Enquête Sénégalaise Auprès des Ménages, ESAM2.         [ Links ]

Alzola. J. A. et al., Microgrids project, Part 2 (2009). Design of an electrification kit with high content of renewable energy sources in Senegal, Renewable Energy 34, 2151- 2159.         [ Links ]

Akinlo, A. (2008). Energy consumption and economic growth: Evidence from 11 Sub-Sahara African countries, Energy Economics 30, pp 2391-2400.         [ Links ]

Baumol W. J. and Oates W.E. (1988). The theory of environmental policy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.         [ Links ]

Bentham J. 1789. Introduction to the principles of moral and legislation        [ Links ]

Bob Van der Zwaan et al. (2004). The learning potential of photovoltaics: Implications for energy policy, Energy Policy 32, pp 1545-1554.         [ Links ]

Bordier. C. (2008). Développement des energies renou-velables: Quelle contribution du marché du Carbone, Etude climat, Caisse des dépots, n' 16.         [ Links ]

Bhuiyan, M. M. H., Asgar. M. A., Mazumder. R. K., Hussain, A. (2000). Economic Evaluation of standalone Residential Photovoltaic Power System in Bangladesh. Renewable Energy, pp 403-410.         [ Links ]

Camblong. H. et al. (2009). Micro-grids project, Part 1: Analysis of rural electrification with high content of renewable energy sources in Senegal, Renewable Energy 34, pp 2141-2150.         [ Links ]

Bugaje. I. M. (1999). Remote area power supply in Nigeria: The prospects of Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, (18), pp 491-500.         [ Links ]

Cecelski E. et al. (1979). Household Energy and the poor in the Third World, Report- 15, Washington, D.C, Resources for the Future,         [ Links ]

Chakrabarti. S. et al, (2002). Rural electrification programme with solar energy in remote region - a case study in an Island, Energy Policy, (30), pp 33-42.         [ Links ]

Cropper, M. and Griffiths, C. (1994). The Interaction of population growth and environmental quality. American Economic Review 85:250-254.         [ Links ]

Dubois. U. (2007). La pauvreté énergétique: Quelles definitions? Comment la mesurer?, working paper, ADIS-GRJM, Université de Paris Sud 11.         [ Links ]

El-Kordy., et al. (2002). Economic evaluation of electricity generation considering externalities. Renewable Energy 25, pp 31700-328.         [ Links ]

Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) (2007). Technical and economic assessment of off-grid, mini-grid and grid electrification technologies, Technical Paper 121/07.         [ Links ]

Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) (2002). Rural electrification and development in the Philippines: Measuring the social and economic benefits, report ESMAP.         [ Links ]

Evander, A., Sieböck, G. and Neij. L. (2004). Diffusion and development of new energy technologies: lessons learned in view of renewable energy and energy efficiency end-use projects in developing countries, The International institute for industrial environmental economic (IIIEE), IIIEE Reports n' 2.         [ Links ]

Foster, V., Tre JP and Wodon Q. (2000). Energy prices, energy efficiency, and fuel poverty, Working Paper, World Bank.         [ Links ]

Heltberg, R. et al. (2000). Fuelwood Consumption and Forest Degradation : A household Model for Domestic Energy Substitution in Rural India, Land Economics, Vol. 76, No 2 , pp. 213-232.         [ Links ]

Hyde, W. Fad N. et al. (1993). Deforestation, scare forest resources and forestland use: Theory, Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications. Rural Development Department, World Bank, Washington, D.C.         [ Links ]

Institute of Energy (IE) (2000). New and renewable energy planning in Vietnam.         [ Links ]

Jacobson. A. (2006). Connective Power: Solar electrification and social change in Kenya, World Development, Vol. 35, 144-162.         [ Links ]

Kanagawa, M. and Toshihiko N. (2008). Assessment of access to electricity and the socio-economic impacts in rural areas of developing countries, Energy Policy 36 pp 2016- 2029.         [ Links ]

Kaldellis J. K. et al. (2001). Evaluation of the wind-hydro energy solution for remote islands. Energy Conversion and Management (42), pp1105-1120.         [ Links ]

Karekezi. S. et al. (2003). Renewable energy development, The Workshop for African Energy Experts on Operationalizing the NEPAD energy Initiative, 2-4 June, Dakar, Senegal.         [ Links ]

Karekezi. S. and Ranja.T. (1997). Renewable technologies in Africa. Zed books, London.         [ Links ]

Karekezi. S. and Kithoma. W. (2002). Renewable energy strategies for rural Africa: is a PV-led renewable energy strategy the right approaches for providing modern energy to the rural poor of sub-Saharan Africa, Energy Policy, (30), pp1071-1086.         [ Links ]

Kaufmann, S. (2000). Rural electrification with solar energy as a climate protection - Strategy Renewable Energy Policy Project, No. 9, January         [ Links ]

Kolhe, M. et al. (2002). Economic viability of stand-alone solar photovoltaic system in comparison with diesel-powered system for India, Energy Economics 24, pp155-165.         [ Links ]

Krugman, H. and Goldemberg, J. (1983). The energy cost of satisfying basic human needs, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 24, pp 45-60.         [ Links ]

Kulsum. A. and Anderson, D. (1994). Renewable Energy Technologies: A Review of the status and costs of selected technologies, World Bank Technical Paper Number 240, Energy Series.         [ Links ]

Lee, Chien-Chian (2006). The causality relationship between energy consumption and GDP in G-11 countries revisited, Energy Policy 34, pp 1086-1093.         [ Links ]

Lee, D. (2005). Agricultural sustainability and technology adoption: Issues and Policies for developing countries, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 87 No 5.         [ Links ]

Maiga, A. S. (2008). Renewable energy options for a Sahel country: Mali, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 12, pp564-574.         [ Links ]

Menanteau, P., Finon D. and Lamy ML. (2003). L'intégration de la Production intermittente dans les marchés électriques libéralisés: des surcoüts techniques aux Pénalités économiques imposées par les règles de fonctionnement des marchés, 2003, Note de Travail LEPII-EPE no 1.         [ Links ]

Martinot, E. et al. (2002). Renewable energy markets in developing countries, Ann. Rev. Energy Environ. (27); pp309-348.         [ Links ]

Mozumdera, P. and Marathe A. (2007). Causality relationship between electricity consumption and GDP in Bangladesh, Energy Policy 35, pp 395-402.         [ Links ]

Nguyen, Q. K. (2007). Alternatives to grid extension for rural electrification: Decentralized renewable energy technologies in Vietnam, Energy Policy 35, pp 2579-2589.         [ Links ]

Nguyen. Q. K. (2007). Wind energy in Vietnam: Resource assessment, development status and future implications, Energy Policy 35, pp1405-1413.         [ Links ]

Obas, J.E. (1996). Energy, economic growth and causality in developing countries: A case study of Tanzania and Nigeria, Energy Policy 24, pp 447-453.         [ Links ]

Odhiambo, N. (2009). Electricity consumption and economic growth in South Africa: A Trivariate causality test, Energy Economics.         [ Links ]

Owen, D. (2006). Renewable energy: Externality costs as markets barriers, Energy Policy 34, pp 632-64.         [ Links ]

Pachauri, S. et al. (2003). Energy Use and energy access in relation to poverty, Working Paper, Centre for Energy Policy and Economics.         [ Links ]

Pearce, D. and Turner R. K, (1990). Economics of natural resources and the environment, Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead, UK.         [ Links ].

Rabl et al. (2003). Prospects for PV: a learning curve analysis, Solar Energy.         [ Links ]

Rawls, J. (1971). A Theory of Justice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.         [ Links ]

Roquest. F., Nuttal, W. and Newbery D. (2006). Using probabilistic Analysis to value Power generation Investments under uncertainty, working paper.         [ Links ]

Sen, A. (1983). Poor, relatively speaking, Oxford Economic Papers, New Series, Vol. 35, No 2, pp. 153-169.         [ Links ]

Singh, I. et al. (1999). A Survey of Agricultural Household Models: Recent Findings and Policy Implications. The World Bank Economic Review 1 (1): 149-79.         [ Links ]

Spalding-Fecher R. et al. (2003). Electricity and externalities in South Africa, Energy Policy, (31), pp721-734.         [ Links ]

Spalding-Fecher, R. (2005). Health benefits of electrification in developing countries: a quantitative assessment in South Africa, Energy for Sustainable Development (9), pp53-62.         [ Links ]

Systeme d'information énergétique (SIE) (2007). Rapport final- Senegal.         [ Links ]

Thiele, R. (1995). Conserving Tropical Rain Forests in Indonesia: A Quantitative Assessment of Alternative Policies. Journal of Agricultural Economics 46 (2): 187- 2.         [ Links ]

Turkenburg, W. (2000). Renewable energy technologies, In Goldemberg. J, editor, World energy assessment: Energy and the challenge of sustainability - An overview United Nations Development Programme.         [ Links ]

United Nation Development Program (2005). Energy Services for the Millennium Development Goal, UNDP.         [ Links ]

United Nations, 2005. The Energy Challenge for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, UN.         [ Links ]

Weisser, D. (2003). Costing electricity supply scenarios: A case study of promoting renewable energy technologies on Rodriguez, Mauritius, Renewable Energy (29) pp1319-1347.         [ Links ]

Weisser. D. (2004). On the economics of electricity consumption in Small island developing states: a role for renewable energy technologies, Energy Policy 32 pp127-140.         [ Links ]

Wolde-Rufael Y (2009). Energy consumption and economic growth: The experience of African countries revisited, Energy Economics.         [ Links ]

World Bank (2003). Kenya: A policy agenda to restore growth. , Report No. 25840- KE, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management 2, Country Department AFC05, Africa Region.         [ Links ]

World Bank (2006). Energy Poverty Issues and G8 actions, World Bank Moscow-Washington DC.         [ Links ]

World Bank (2007). Accelerating Clean Energy technology research, development and deployment: Lessons from non-energy sectors, World Bank Working Paper No 138.         [ Links ]

Youm, I. et al. (2000). Renewable energy activities in Senegal: A review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 4, pp75-89.         [ Links ]

Zahnd, A. (2009). Benefits from a renewable energy village electrification system, Renewable Energy Vol. 34, Issue 2, pp 362-368.         [ Links ]

Zomers, A. (2003). The challenge of rural electrification, Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 7, issue 1, pp 69-76.         [ Links ]



Received 19 December 2009
Revised 22 February 2011

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License