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International Evidence on Sectoral Interfuel Substitution

Apostolos Serletis, Govinda R. Timilsina and Olexandr Vasetsky

Year: 2010
Volume: Volume 31
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-No4-1
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This paper estimates interfuel substitution elasticities in selected devel�oping and industrialized economies at the sector level. In doing so, it employs state-of-the-art techniques in microeconometrics, particularly the locally .exible normalized quadratic functional form, and provides evidence consistent with neo�classical microeconomic theory. The results indicate that the interfuel substitution elasticities are consistently below unity, revealing the limited ability to substitute between major energy commodities (i.e., coal, oil, gas, and electricity). We .nd that on average, industrial and residential sectors tend to exhibit higher potential for substitution between energy inputs as compared to the electricity generation and transportation sectors in all countries, with the United States being the only exception. In addition, we .nd that developed countries demonstrate higher po�tential for interfuel substitution in their industrial and transportation sectors as compared to the developing economies. The implication is that interfuel substi�tution depends on the structure of the economy, not the level of economic devel�opment. Moreover, higher changes in relative prices are needed than what we have already experienced to induce switching toward a lower carbon economy.

A Quarter Century Effort Yet to Come of Age: A Survey of Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries

Tooraj Jamasb, Rabindra Nepal, and Govinda R. Timilsina

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.3.tjam
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More than two decades have passed since the start of the worldwide market-oriented electricity sector reforms. The reforms have varied in terms of structure, market mechanisms, and regulation. However, the passage of time calls for taking stock of the performance of the reforms in developing countries. This paper surveys the empirical literature on electricity sector reforms and draws some conclusions with a view to the future. Overall, the reforms have tended to improve the technical efficiency of the sector. The macroeconomic benefits of reforms are less clear and remain difficult to identify. Also, the gains from the reforms have often not trickled down to consumers because of institutional and regulatory weaknesses. In order to achieve lasting benefits, reforms need to adopt measures that align their pursuit of economic efficiency with those of equity and provision of access. Reforms can deliver more economic benefits and alleviate poverty when the poor have access to electricity. New technologies and institutional capacity building can help improve the performance of reforms.

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