Research on Getting Electricity

Doing Business considers the following list of papers as relevant for research on getting electricity. Some papers—denoted with an asterisk (*)—use Doing Business data for their empirical analysis. If we've missed any important research, please let us know.

Author(s): Arlet, Jean Nicolas

Abstract: Using recent Doing Business data, this note provides an analysis of electricity sector constraints across economies. The findings provide some interesting insights. Not surprisingly, service unreliability is a significant factor in low-income economies. Using recent Doing Business data, this note provides an analysis of electricity sector constraints across economies. The findings provide some interesting insights. Not surprisingly, service unreliability is a significant factor in low-income economies, where power outages fluctuate significantly from year to year. Furthermore, electricity tariffs are associated with an economy’s natural resource endowment, while burdensome electricity connections are associated with utility corruption. Consistent with the existing research, the data reveals that electricity sector constraints impact firm behavior in terms of demand for energy inputs. One major question, however, remains to be explored: how is the performance of firms impacted by specific electricity sector constraints, namely (i) power outages, (ii) electricity tariffs and (iii) the connection process? This is will be explored in an upcoming policy note.


Author(s): World Bank 2012

Abstract: Achieving universal access to electricity is one of the most important goals set for the energy sector by governments in the developing world. Electricity alone is not sufficient to spur economic growth, but it is certainly necessary. Access to electricity is particularly crucial to human development, as certain basic activities-such as lighting, refrigeration, running household appliances, and operating equipment-cannot easily be carried out by other forms of energy. Sustainable provision of electricity can free large amounts of time and labor and promote better health and education. Electrification can make an important contribution toward achieving economic and social objectives. This paper, prepared as a background paper to inform the forthcoming World Bank Group energy strategy, discusses the challenge of scaling up electricity access in developing countries, the efforts involved in achieving universal access, obstacles associated with access extension in rural and urban areas, technology and institutional options, the role of tariffs and subsidies, and elements of success in electrification programs. To that end, the paper draws from the experiences of more than twenty countries in addressing the electricity access gap under different country circumstances, distills lessons on good practices, and makes recommendations for a way forward.


Author(s): Geginat, Carolin, and Rita Ramalho

Journal: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 7460

Abstract: This paper presents new data on electricity connections forbusinesses in 183 economies. The data cover information onprocedures, time, and cost that a small or medium size businesswith a moderate electricity need has to invest to obtaina new electricity connection. The study finds significantvariation in the time and cost to obtain such an electricityconnection across countries. In low-income countries, forinstance, it takes on average nearly twice as long as in high-incomecountries to connect a new customer to electricity,while the cost associated with a comparable connection is70 times higher.

Author(s): Golumbeanu, Raluca;Barnes, Douglas

Journal: World Bank Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 6511. Washington, DC: World Bank. 

Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa trails other regions in providing access to electricity for poor urban and rural residents. This poor performance can be linked to various factors, including political interference in utility policy, higher investment costs and lower profitability of extending service to rural areas. But a major obstacle to wider access is the high charges consumers must pay to connect to the electricity network. The connection charges in Sub-Saharan Africa are among the highest in the world, which has resulted in low rates of electrification in many countries. This paper reviews ways to improve electrification rates by addressing the issue of high connection charges. Essential to the success of such efforts is concurrent political commitment to identify, examine, and implement various low-cost electrification approaches and financing solutions as part of a broad plan to improve access. Electricity companies can lower their connection-related costs, and thus consumer charges, by using a variety of low-cost technologies and materials in distribution networks and household connections; making bulk purchases of materials; and adjusting technical standards to reflect the lower loads of households that use a minimum amount of electricity. Strategies for lowering connection charges may also include spreading charges over a reasonable period, rolling them into monthly service payments, subsidizing connections, or amortizing them through loans. Lowering connection charges is not the only step, but it is an essential part of any strategy for addressing the electricity access gap between rich and poor households in Sub-Saharan Africa, a gap that denies millions of poor Africans the benefits of electricity. 

Author(s): Ama Baafra Abeberese

Journal: Academic Commons, Columbia University

Abstract: Despite the widely acknowledged importance of infrastructure for economic growth, there has been relatively little research on how infrastructure affects the decisions of firms. Using data on Indian manufacturing firms, this paper provides evidence on how electricity prices affect a firm's industry choice and productivity growth. I construct an instrument for electricity price as the interaction between the price of coal paid by power utilities, which is arguably exogenous to firm characteristics, and the initial share of thermal generation in a state's total electricity generation capacity. I find that, in response to an exogenous increase in electricity price, firms reduce their electricity consumption and switch to industries with less electricity-intensive production processes. I also find that firm output, machine intensity and labor productivity decline with an increase in electricity price. In addition to these level effects, I show that firm output and productivity growth rates are negatively affected by high electricity prices. These results suggest that electricity constraints faced by firms may limit a country's growth by leading firms to operate in industries with fewer productivity-enhancing opportunities.

Author(s): Audinet, Perre: Rodriguez Pardina, Martin

Journal: World Bank Central America Regional Programmatic Study for the Energy Sector

Abstract: This paper studies energy challenges facing six Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) to identify actions to promote the sound development of the sector. It discusses the integration of energy markets within the SIPEAC Electrical Interconnection System, which links the six countries. The Managing an Electricity Shortfall paper evaluates the effectiveness of supply- and demand-side actions to address actual or looming shortages. It provides a framework for action and a broad menu of options available to policy makers to bridge a supply-demand gap in the short- to medium-term.

Author(s): Briceño-Garmendia, Cecilia; Shkaratan, Maria,

Journal: Policy Working Research Papers, the World Bank

Abstract: This is the first paper to build a comprehensive empirical picture of power pricing practices across Sub-Saharan Africa, based on a new database of tariff structures in 27 countries for the years 2004?2008. Using a variety of quantitative indicators, the paper evaluates the performance of electricity tariffs against four key policy objectives: recovery of historic power production costs, efficient signaling of future power production costs, affordability to low income households, and distributional equity. As regards cost recovery, 80 percent of the countries in the sample fully recover operating costs, while only around 30 percent of the countries are practicing full recovery of capital costs. However, due to the fact that future power development may be based on a shift toward more economic technologies than those available in the past, existing tariffs look as though they would be consistent with Long Run Marginal Costs in nearly 40 percent of countries and hence provide efficient pricing signals.

Author(s): Yujia Tao, Jacqueline; Finenko, Anton 

Journal: Energy Policy

Abstract: Small island developing states (SIDS) have some of the highest electricity tariffs globally. Renewable energy (RE) technologies could thus have reached grid parity in various SIDS. Furthermore, the abundance of resources such as solar and wind provides ample potential for SIDS to switch from high cost diesel generators to renewables. Despite favourable conditions, RE remains a largely underinvested sector in these regions. This paper aims to undercover the reasons why grid parity does not necessary translate into private sector investments in RE. With a focus on SIDS, this paper presents an evidence that achieving grid parity based on LCOE estimates is an incomplete benchmark for decision making in the power generation industry. In particular, LCOE and grid parity do not take into account financing constraints of RE projects which are often more pronounced compared to conventional forms of power generation. This paper thus presents the business perspective of RE projects, by employing a discounted cashflow model that includes various profitability metrics and effects of taxation and depreciation. The study shows that financing conditions exert strong influence on the economic feasibility of solar projects, both in LCOE terms and profitability terms. Thus, key policies should be targeted at improving financing conditions to ensure mobilization of private sector finances in solar PV.

Author(s): JI Haidar, T Hoshi  

Journal: NBER Chapters / National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Improving the environment for business is an important part of the growth strategy of Abenomics. As the goal for this effort, the Abe Administration aims to improve Japan’s rank in the World Bank Doing Business Ranking to one of the top three among OECD. This paper clarifies what it takes for Japan to achieve the goal. By looking at details of the World Bank Doing Business ranking, we identify various reforms that Japan could implement to improve the ranking. Then, we classify the reforms into six groups depending on whether the reform requires legal changes and on political resistance that the reform is likely to face. By just doing the reforms that do not require legal changes and are not likely to face strong political opposition, Japan can improve the ranking to 13th. To be in the top 3, Japan would need to implement all the reforms that are not likely to face strong political resistance. The conclusions, however, are based on the assumption that the conditions in the other countries do not change, which is unrealistic. Thus, Japan would need to carry out all the reforms including those with high political resistance to be among the top three.