An enormous gap exists between Africa's current electrification rate and the 2030 UN goal to ensure universal access to modern energy. A study by Sanoh et al. published in Renewable Energy in 2014  is a rare example of finding a cost minimal solution for the Africa-wide generation and transmission network. Unfortunately, however, the paper exhibits a number of relatively serious flaws that demand attention given the alarming paucity of such research on Africa. Five issues of the study by Sanoh et al. are identified and discussed in this commentary paper. Specifically, the study does not account for capacity factors when deriving required capacity additions, misses transmission losses when sizing generation capacity, models country-level import constraints incorrectly, introduces a supply option redundancy, and reports optimisation results that can be shown to be mathematically sub-optimal. As a result of some of these issues, the Sanoh et al. significantly underreport the required capacity to meet additional African demand in 2025. In addition to discussing these flaws, this paper provides potential approaches to avoid each of the five issues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment