Those working in energy argue that a wide range of direct and indirect benefits can result from the provision of improved energy services to poor households. It is also suggested that there are feasible mechanisms for the establishment of such services, though the problems of devising effective policies on, for example, the appropriate roles of public and private sectors, pricing and subsidies are well recognised. Many of the suggested benefits would seem to relate closely to the various dimensions of poverty (opportunity, security and empowerment) discussed in the World Development Report 2000. However, recent statements regarding the needs of the poor and the main components of a poverty reduction strategy do not place energy high on the priority list.
By undertaking a series of village level case studies on electrification in China, this project sought to increase knowledge of the linkages between energy, poverty and gender, and provide empirical evidence on the actual and potential benefits to the rural poor from electrification. The final report is targeted at experts in poverty, gender analysis and energy, with the aim of fostering a common understanding.
More information can be found in the ASTAE website