The Evidence of Benefits for Poor People of Increased Renewable Electricity Capacity: Literature Review

Pueyo, A., Gonzalez, F., Dent, C., and DeMartino, S.
IDS Evidence Report 31
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Lack of access to electricity is seen as a major constraint to economic growth and increased welfare in developing countries. In 2010 nearly 1.3 billion people (close to one-fifth of the global population) did not have access to electricity, with most of them in India, South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

In this report, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has conducted a review of the evidence that investments in electricity-generating capacity have benefits for poor people, and what factors influence that relationship.

The review begins by elucidating a theory to break down the causal chain between additional renewable electricity generation capacity and poverty impacts in four stages or links, which can be formulated as four research questions:

  1. What is the link between increased renewable electricity capacity and higher availability and reliability of supply?
  2. What is the link between increased availability and reliability of electricity and actual connection and use by the poor?
  3. What is the link between electricity consumption and poverty impacts?
  4. What is the link between electricity consumption and economic growth at the macro level?
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Related IDS Researchers
Ana Pueyo
Francisco Gonzalez Carreras

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