Novel approaches are necessary to accelerate the provision of reliable electric power in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Existing approaches to planning power system investment tend to ignore conflict-related risk and its serious consequences. Here, we propose a framework for identifying power system investment strategies in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and apply it to South Sudan. Our results show that investment strategies that explicitly consider the challenges posed by potential conflict may improve the reliability of electricity service over the status-quo approach. Our analysis suggests investing in a diverse mix of supply types in the medium term, and building a power system with redundancies or a higher share of local resources in the long term, to reduce vulnerability to conflict and socio-political fragility.
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The code and data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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E.S. is an Onassis Foundation scholar and thanks the Onassis Foundation for research support. The authors also thank the Paul Scherrer Institut for providing a copy of the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Supplementary notes 1–13, Supplementary Tables 1–53, Supplementary Figures 1–2, Supplementary references.