The empirical failures of attaining the societal benefits of renewable energy development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa

Eugene C.X. Ikejemba*, Peter C. Schuur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


The number of renewable energy (RE) projects that have been implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has soared over the past couple of years. The number of projects to be implemented within the coming years is expected to rise considerably. However, the societal benefits of RE projects implemented in SSA have not been studied thoroughly. This study attempts to: (i) uncover the differences between the expected and the realized societal benefits of utilizing renewable energy technologies (RETs) in SSA, (ii) reveal any empirical failures in realizing those benefits and (iii) create awareness towards the sustainable implementation of RE projects. Within the realm of publicly-funded projects, we aim to provide solutions that assist these and future projects to meet their societal benefits. We investigate 29 projects that have been implemented in ten SSA countries taking into account direct experiences of the local users and project developers. We find that most of the projects investigated in this study have few to no societal benefits within a short period of time after the “cutting the ribbon” event. To counteract this, we present corresponding recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1498
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable energy
Early online date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Project failures
  • Renewable energy project
  • Societal benefits
  • Sub-Saharan africa
  • Sustainability
  • Community involvement

Cite this