Beyond costs: How urban form could limit the uptake of residential solar PV systems in low-income neighborhoods in Ghana

Akrofi, Mark M. and Okitasari, Mahesti, (2023). Beyond costs: How urban form could limit the uptake of residential solar PV systems in low-income neighborhoods in Ghana. Energy for Sustainable Development, 74 20-33

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Akrofi, Mark M.
    Okitasari, Mahesti
    Title Beyond costs: How urban form could limit the uptake of residential solar PV systems in low-income neighborhoods in Ghana
    Appearing in Energy for Sustainable Development
    Volume 74
    Publication Date 2023-03-17
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier B.V.
    Start page 20
    End page 33
    Language eng
    Abstract This paper examines the relationship between urban form, residential rooftop solar PV potential, and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) in high-income, middle-class, and low-income neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana. Using building footprint data, ArcGIS Pro, and linear regression analysis, we find a statistically significant association between urban form parameters (building density, neighborhood compactness, building footprint area, suitable rooftop area, and near distance between buildings) and the rooftop solar PV potential in all the three types of neighborhoods. However, the well-planned high-income neighborhood exhibited the highest rooftop solar PV potential with low LCOE values for most houses, while the lowest rooftop PV potential and highest LCOE values were found in the largely unplanned low-income neighborhood. The low-income neighborhood exhibited higher density with clustered building patterns and, consequently, lower rooftop PV potential. The LCOE ranged between $0.02/kWh-$0.19/kWh for most buildings, with 92 %, 74 %, and 51 % of houses in the high-income, middle-class, and low-income neighborhoods falling within this range, respectively. We conclude that while capital subsidies for residential solar PV can boost their uptake by urbanites, their effectiveness could be limited in low-income neighborhoods due to the limitations imposed by their urban form. It may be more appropriate for policy interventions to target such neighborhoods with community solar schemes while targeting high-income neighborhoods with building integrated solar photovoltaics.
    UNBIS Thesaurus AFRICA
    SOLAR ENERGY
    URBAN PLANNING
    BUILDINGS
    Keyword Energy transition
    Sustainable cities
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esd.2023.03.004
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    Created: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 17:18:13 JST by Hanna Takemoto on behalf of UNU IAS