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Estimating the cost of energy access: The case of the village of Suro Craic in Timor Leste

Fuso Nerini, Francesco, Dargaville, Roger, Howells, Mark, Bazilian, Morgan
Energy 2015 v.79 pp. 385-397
World Bank, case studies, cooking, cost estimates, decision making, electricity, energy, fires, issues and policy, renewable energy sources, rural areas, villages, East Timor
Energy access targets at national, sub-national, and local levels, are often not specified in great detail – and tend to focus on supply. Another approach to better inform policy and investment might benefit from an indicator that focuses on the services derived from electricity access. To provide support for decision-making, this research investigates the costs of reaching different levels of energy access in rural areas, with a case study of a village in the Ainaro district of Timor Leste. Utilizing the multi-tier definition of energy access proposed in the World Bank's “Global Tracking Framework” for Sustainable Energy for All, we present results both on the cost difference of achieving different tiers of energy access, and on the comparison among selected electrification and cooking options. Results show that in the period 2010–2030 achieving the highest tier of electricity access could be as much as seventy-five times more costly than achieving the lowest one. In addition moving across tiers, least cost solutions shift from stand-alone to mini-grid and finally grid connected options as electricity access increases. Regarding cooking, moving from open fires to some of the more modern solutions has the potential to reduce overall costs over the same period.