Off-grid electrification is gaining importance in the developing countries where the access to electricity is often limited. The purpose of this paper is to review alternative methodologies that are used for off-grid electrification projects to identify the features of each methodological approach and to present their strengths and weaknesses. The paper reviews a large volume of relevant literature covering techno-economic feasibility studies, analytical works highlighting methodological applications and practice-oriented literature. The review identifies five methodological options, namely the worksheet-based tools, optimisation tools, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) tools, system-based participatory tools and hybrid approaches. The paper recommends a hybrid approach that combines two or more options to take advantage of strengths and weaknesses of different options. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.