Econonomics of Energy and Environmental Policy

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Electricity Access: An Introduction

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Abstract:
This EEEP symposium on electricity access introduces the readers to this topical field of research and policy, and brings together leading scholars from emerging and industrial countries that address a broad spectrum of related issues. After sketching out the challenge using standard targets and indicators, this introduction to the symposium provides a survey of the literature on the topic: For the sake of clarity, we have broken down these issues into three cornerstones of analyzing electricity access: Technology and costs (“supply”); socio-economic aspects of demand and pricing policies (“demand”); and political and institutional aspects to bring supply and demand together (“organizational models”). The paper then provides an overview of the symposium which contains two cross-cutting papers on defining and regulating electricity access, and four papers that combine specific country experiences (from India, China, Nigeria, and Mozambique, respectively) with specific policy experiences and research questions: Solar microgrids, financing the last mile of electricity access, the potential of natural gas for electrification, and the roles of government and public utilities in achieving universal electricity access. We conclude on a positive note: considerable success can be observed with respect to electricity access, both in absolute and relative numbers; yet, the issue will not go away soon, as implementation of universal access on the ground remains challenging, and the devil is in the details.
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JEL Codes:O13: Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products, O31: Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives, Q42: Alternative Energy Sources


DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.8.1.vkar


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Published in Volume 8, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


 

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