An energy justice based approach for electrification planning - An agent-based model

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Social Sciences


According to the International Energy Agency, approximately 1.1 billion people lacked access to electricity in 2017. Ninety-five percent of those living without access were located in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia, which reveals the spatial link between access and poverty. In order to address this issue, global efforts to increase energy access, especially electrification for those who are energy-poor, have increased across regions. However, current electrification planning is overly reliant on techno-economic models and fails to ask the ethical questions of “for whom?” and “who bears the costs?” These limitations in the planning phase result in ill-planned energy infrastructure that creates access inequalities wherein the socio-environmental costs are borne largely by the poor, while the benefits of access accrue largely in urban areas or are exported. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to introduce a justice-based electrification planning framework that re-conceptualizes the electrification planning process from the energy-poor perspective by applying the concept of energy justice. The study accomplishes this by expanding the least-cost of electricity (LCOE) decision criteria utilized in current methods by formulating and incorporating the guiding ethical principles of energy justice.

Publication Title

2019 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)