Energy access versus reliability: opportunities and challenges in Sierra Leone

John Rhys, Hindolo George-Williams, Kelcise Vidal Sesay, Helen Gavin
Event date
Event time
11:00 - 12:00
Energy webinars from the Oxford Martin Programme
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

This webinar will highlight three of the most important issues in the power sector, which present particular challenges for developing economies. These are:

  • questions of finance at an affordable cost of capital,
  • paying attention to issues of sustainability and access, and
  • a reliability agenda that sits at the heart of many of the utility management challenges.

John Rhys will introduce the subject, drawing on his experience of different power systems and setting out the financial aspects. The next two speakers will comment on and talk about some of these themes from the specific perspective of the Sierra Leone power sector, where these all represent very live current issues.

Few people have access to electricity in Sierra Leone, and those that do suffer from an unstable supply. Fossil fuels and firewood are often used, with adverse health and environmental implications, and there is much potential for renewable energy.

Hindolo George-Williams will talk on the sometimes conflicting aims of broadening access to electricity and the need to increase the resilience of the electricity grid and thus the reliability of supplied power. Which should come first? This is a trade-off that isn’t often discussed.

Kelcise Vidal Sesay will talk on the operational aspects of delivering power, drawing on his experience as Head of the Electricity Regulation, and the approach taken to provide reliable and affordable electricity in Sierra Leone, as set out the country’s Electricity Sector Reform Roadmap.

Helen Gavin will host the webinar.