Enhancing sustainable development and regional integration through electrification by solar power: The case of six East African states

Sylvester Ngome Chisika, Chunho Yeom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The need to enhance energy access has led to the growing recognition of renewable energy sources in sustainable regional development. However, solar power, one of the less polluting renewable energy sources, continues to receive little attention in some developing countries seeking balanced development. Through a review of the literature, this paper examines the need for regional electrification by solar power and suggests measures to integrate regional energy policies and processes for balanced development. The authors find that there are many social, economic, and environmental benefits associated with using solar power. For instance, solar energy creates employment opportunities, reduces a country’s foreign dependence, improves freedom of choice, improves a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and human development index (HDI), and is associated with improved environmental conservation. The region of East Africa is keen to reap these sustainable development gains through solar power electrification. The establishment of the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency constitutes an important melting pot for di-verse renewable energy policies, in addition to confirming a commitment to solar power deploy-ment. Moreover, some East African Community (EAC) states appear to be progressing faster towards regional solar power projects, while other states are lagging due to complex contextual chal-lenges. However, the overall contribution of solar power to sustainable development remains low, as individual states appear to be focused on developing their national solar power projects. None-theless, there is great hope for regional development through shared solar power development if EAC states implement a number of regulatory and voluntary interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3275
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Feed‐in‐tariff
  • Regional grids
  • Solar power
  • Solar power associations
  • Sustainable development goals

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