Diesel Generators in Developing Countries

The Big Picture – Energy Needs Worldwide:

The benefits of reliable electricity seem obvious, yet to many in the western world the benefits are often taken for granted. Today there are more than 2 billion people in the world who live without electricity. This means one in three people on the planet do not have access to electricity or an Alternative Energy Source. Best estimates indicate that 56% of the world’s rural population live without access to modern energy sources. The amount of people who have no access to modern energy is swelling by 30 million people per year. By 2030, global energy demand is expected to grow by a staggering 60% according to the IEA (International Energy Agency).

The Energy Situation In Developing Countries:
Diesel Generator in use during a Power Outage

In developing nations, burning organic material like wood and charcoal accounts for more than 70% of fuel used for heating and cooking. The burning of this organic material is a major contributor to degrading air quality and increased air pollution.

Best estimates by the IEA suggest there is $16 trillion in proposed infrastructure investments in the energy sector of developing nations. Even after such investments have been made the IEA predicts 1.4 billion of the world’s poorest people will remain without access to electricity. Due to economic and population growth the demand for energy in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Can Diesel Generators Help Provide Energy Solutions In Developing Countries?
Diesel Generator in Rural Community

Connecting rural communities to national power grids in developing countries is not economically viable. Grid infrastructure in developing counties is limited at best. Diesel Generators provide an ideal solution. They can be used on their own or as part of a combined electrical supply system in conjunction with wind and solar power.

Agriculture typically accounts for large parts of developing economies. India’s rural irrigation network is estimated to be run by approximately 4 million small Diesel Generators.

Diesel generators  are low-tech, durable, Portable Power sources and provide critical energy solutions in developing countries.

As developing nations grapple with increasing infrastructure needs, electrical demand continues to outstrip supply. This leads to peak power deficits, power outages and brownouts. Diesel Generators can provide the security of power supply in the event of grid failure.

Diesel Generators provide the most cost effective solution in terms of initial capital cost for developing nations when compared to alternatives like solar and wind energy. Due to the limited budgets of developing nations, diesel generators remain the best solution for primary and backup electrical generation.

As developing nations continue to industrialise and while populations continue growing, energy needs will increase. Diesel Generators provide a critical energy source in developing nations. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

For more helpful information visit: My Generator

DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

Sean Connolly

Sean is the co-founder and Director of My Generator (mygenerator.com.au) with a keen in interest in the outdoors and power products.

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10 thoughts on “Diesel Generators in Developing Countries”

  1. Thanks for a great article. I live and work for an NGO in the pacific islands. Our medical centres rely solely on power generated from diesel generators. Without it we would not be able to provide critical medical services to local communities. The importance of diesel generators can not be over stated!

    1. Thanks for your comment Margaret!
      I completely agree with your comment. Diesel generators are still the primary source of power in developing countries and provide a crucial power source in many pacific island communities.

  2. Hi Sean
    Have you got a list of cost of diesel per country? Also an idea of diesel generators per country. I am wading through some searches now, but am guessing this type of data is very liquid & may be difficult to estimate. I just need a broad figre for about 5 countries- China, Italy, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Samoa, Nigeria. What would you say if I could halve the use of diesel in a generator (& actually any fuel engine)

  3. Hi and thanks for a really great article. I’m pretty new to generators and am doing my research at present. I found this and some of the other articles on the mygenerator blog really helpful.
    Many thanks,
    Jeff Hall

    1. Hi Jeff,
      I’m glad your are finding the information contained in our blog posts helpful. That’s our aim here at My Generator. Be sure to send us any questions you might have and we’ll do our best to answer them.

  4. Many times, diesel generators are the only option for developing countries. However, the use of biogas generators (combined with biogas digester that use slurry and residues as a raw input) should be encouraged more, since its carbon footprint in neutral (not as polluting diesel), and it is also possible to use it in the stoves…

    1. Hi Rashid, we have Cummins powered diesel generators from 25kVA to 1650kVA and Perkins powered diesel generators up to 2475kva. Please give us a call on 1300 400 122 and we can provide you a quote. Many thanks, Steve

  5. Diesel Generators are the heart and soul of developing countries, at present 70% of our British Built Perkins that we sell from our UK business (Electrical Generators) are exported to Africa and the Middle East… There is also a huge demand of diesel generators in the industrial and farming sector in the UK and Europe many people overlook…

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