Introduction: Electrical-Energy Revolutions and Smart Grids

Njabulo Kambule, Nnamdi Nwulu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The global energy market is not immune to the transformational and progressive waves of the Industrial Revolution. With the fourth wave of the Industrial Revolution currently and futuristically driving the market, it is important to address the location and ability, or inability thereof, of developing states like the Sub-Saharan region to ride this wave with benefit. While research arguments validly assert that the Sub-Saharan Region is generally trapped within the second wave, this reality is rapidly changing, particularly in the energy or electricity realm. While the region has an overall operational electricity capacity of approximately 100 GW, more than 600 million (≈57%) people remain without electricity in the region. Improving human access to electricity has direct developmental implications, especially when considering the current reality of the virtual economy, wherein connectivity is what drives the cloud of development. Governments across the region are thus increasingly reframing the traditional approach of grid development by investing on cost-effective smart grid infrastructure, especially for rural areas. Off-grid, mini-grid, and stand-alone renewable energy systems have become instrumental mechanisms for radically improving connectivity and electrification in the region. For the region to deeply entrench itself in the fourth wave, we propose that authorities in the region should create conducive investment (e.g. governance and regulatory framework) ambiance for further development of mini-grid systems and adoption of smart grid technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Electrical Engineering
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Electrical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1876-1100
ISSN (Electronic)1876-1119


  • Electricity accessibility
  • Households
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Mini-grid
  • Smart grid
  • Sub-Saran Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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