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  1. Abstract Universal access to electricity is an essential part of sub-Saharan Africa’s path to development. With the United Nations setting Goal 7 of its sustainable development goals to be universal access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity, substantial research efforts have been made to optimize electricity supply based on projected demand in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Our study reviews the literature on electricity demand, with a specific focus on latent demand (i.e., electricity demand that would exist if the necessary techno-economic conditions were met) in SSA. We found that out of 57 electricity demand papers reviewed, only 3 (5%) incorporated latent demand in their electricity demand projections. Furthermore, majority of the literature on electricity consumption and demand estimation in SSA use econometric models to identify determinants of electricity consumption and project future demand. We find that population density, urbanization, household income, electricity price, market value of crops and availability of natural resources to be significant determinants of electricity consumption in SSA. We conclude the review by proposing a methodology, and providing an initial proof of concept, for more accurately projecting latent demand in sub-Saharan Africa. Incorporating latent demand in electrification models would help inform energy sector stakeholders (e.g., investors andmore »policymakers) about which sectors and geographic locations hold potential for wealth creation via electricity access.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023