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Energy Planning in sub-Saharan Africa - facing the challenges of equitable access, secure supply and climate change

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This report presents the findings of a research scoping study undertaken for DFID, with the overall objective of informing the development of a future research programme on energy planning in developing countries. It specifically aims to identify key research areas and knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to improve medium/long-term energy planning in developing countries in Africa. The report identifies the importance of medium and long term energy planning, its relative immaturity in practice and how donor-funded research could improve energy planning in the future. The authors note that the added value of DFID initiating an energy planning research agenda derives from its ability to take a long term view, mobilise consistent financial resources and technical expertise. Importantly DFID is also in a position to forge links between actors in developing countries at the local, national and regional levels, and those involved with energy planning at the international level, thus improving coordination and consistency of research activities and outputs. Key concluding points noted include:

integrated energy planning has been found to be essential for the medium and long term development of the energy sector in the two countries and one-sub region included within this study. However most current planning processes are short term, and reactive to immediate needs
where medium/long term planning has been attempted (e.g. South Africa) it is not found to sufficiently integrate the complex issues, drivers and stakeholders involved, and is insufficiently linked with policy and investment processes
a study of literature and stakeholders in three case studies highlights the importance of improved access to energy services, energy security and other drivers including economic growth and competitiveness
synergies are identified between energy access and energy security in the case studies, although insufficient analysis has been undertaken in these countries to allow for a full understanding of the interactions between drivers.