The True Cost of Kerosene in Rural Africa

This study reveals a substantial disparity between the per liter price of kerosene at fuel pumps in urban centers compared to the price for small volume purchases from kerosene vendors in rural villages. In the rural villages in five African countries, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya, the median price per liter of kerosene for small volume purchases was 35% higher than prices found in nearby urban centers. This means that estimates of the economic payback period for people who replace fuel based lighting with modern off-grid lighting, which often involve the use of urban kerosene prices to estimate baseline lighting fuel costs, tend to understate the benefits of making the switch. The true cost of kerosene to rural consumers, as revealed by this study, indicates that the typical payback period for a switch to modern off-grid lighting is on the order of 26% shorter than would be indicated by an analysis that uses urban kerosene prices.

Resource Type: Case Studies

Country: Africa

Language: English