PV-eCook price parity in Africa

africa pv ecookFocussing in on the opportunity for PV-eCook in Sub-Saharan Africa, three price parity analyses were carried out to illustrate which countries offer the greatest economic opportunities for PV-eCook in 2020 in existing charcoal, kerosene or LPG markets.

Using Leach & Oduro (2015) and Scott et al.’s (2017) processes for comparing energy delivered to the pot, it was found that for countries with charcoal prices below 0.31USD/kg (assuming 30% efficient ICS), kerosene prices below 1.00USD/l or LPG prices below 1.39USD/kg, it will be cheaper to use these fuels than PV-eCook in 2020 under all scenarios. In countries with charcoal prices above 1.35USD/kg, kerosene prices below 4.34USD/l or LPG prices below 6.07USD/kg, in 2020 it will be cheaper to use PV-eCook than these fuels under all scenarios. Countries in between these ranges will be cheaper under some scenarios and more expensive under others, suggesting that some markets are likely to emerge within each country.

The figure  shows that Africa’s charcoal markets offer a huge opportunity for PV-eCook. By 2020, it is predicted that it could be cheaper for some HHs in almost all (31/36) of the SSA countries included in the analysis to transition to PV-eCook. In fact, charcoal prices in Ghana are reportedly so high that it is predicted that PV-eCook will be more cost effective under all scenarios. What is more, rapid deforestation is pushing up the price of charcoal in many SSA countries (World Bank 2014), meaning that the opportunity is likely to be even greater than indicated, as these charcoal prices were obtained from a 2017 survey.

In three quarters (33/42) of SSA nations, PV-eCook is predicted to be cost-effective against kerosene under some scenarios. It should be noted that the 9 countries where it is not predicted to be cost-effective under any scenarios include the region’s major oil producing nations such as Angola, Nigeria and Cameroon. PV-eCook could become economically viable in these countries if policy makers could be persuaded to divert state subsidies for kerosene into PV-eCook, simultaneously freeing up more oil to generate more revenue through sales to overseas markets and building a national renewable energy economy.

The outlook for LPG is complex.  High LPG prices in some West and East African nations appear to create an opportunity in 2020, however Figure 20 shows that the timing of this opportunity is likely to be different than  suggests[i].

The LPG prices obtained for this analysis range from 2012 to 2017, yet globally, LPG has been steadily decreasing in price since 2010. What is more, LPG is an emerging technology in many countries and as markets develop, economies of scale inevitably bring the price down. As a result, the current LPG price in many countries will be lower than predicted here and is likely to keep dropping until 2020 when the production surplus from the exploitation of shale gas begins to even out with the increasing demand for what is currently relatively cheap LPG (Argus Consulting 2017). However, Figure 20 shows that by 2026, global LPG prices are expected to return to 2010 levels, suggesting that a window of opportunity will open up for PV-eCook as the next decade unfolds.

A 40% poverty premium was added to all fuel costs to represent the increased costs to poorer HHs who are only able to purchase in small quantities, however it should be noted that the price in rural charcoal producing areas will be lower.

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