Electricity planners often confront the energy access gap by increasing supply, without considering how consumers actually use and pay for electricity. Creating a lasting solution is actually far more complicated.
More than 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity; 71 million in Kenya and Tanzania alone. Rentable solar systems can provide a safe, affordable solution, but they haven't taken off – yet.
A "prosumer" produces and consumes electricity, usually through rooftop solar panels, while also selling power back to the grid. Prosumers could play an important role in helping India meet its ambitious goal of installing 40 gigawatts of rooftop solar capacity by 2022.
This tool was designed to help make decision-making processes more transparent and enable greater engagement in the electricity sector. To date, TEGI’s work provides a good example of how this tool can be used to start putting Integrated Resources Planning (IRP) principles into practice.
The authors discuss how energy stakeholders from utilities to government officials to consumers can learn from the Thai Solar PV Roadmap Initiative (TSRI), an initiative that aims to provide the Thai government with recommendations on how to both effectively and inclusively pursue greater solar power development.
Energy efficiency programs in world's major developing countries could save 1,500 Terawatt hours of energy and save consumers US$ 1.5 trillion by 2030.
But despite their “win-win” nature, the purchase of energy efficient appliances remains low in some countries—including in India. This is in part due to low levels of involvement by local civil society organizations (CSOs) in the energy efficiency standards and labeling (S&L) process.
Rabayah Akhter, an intern with WRI's Electricity Governance Initiative, also contributed to this post.
When it comes to renewable energy, the Philippines is one of the world’s more ambitious countries. The country set out to triple its share of renewable energy by 2030 based on 2010 levels. The Philippines has one of Asia’s highest electricity rates, in part due to high costs of importing fossil fuels. Enhancing the country’s energy security and keeping power costs down have been the main drivers for setting renewable energy goals.
While the Philippines has demonstrated commitment to renewable energy, the process of achieving its goals has proven to be challenging. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in collaboration with WRI released a new report today, Meeting Renewable Energy Targets: Global Lessons From The Road To Implementation. The report documents the challenges and solutions to scaling up renewable energy in the Philippines and six other countries - China, India, Germany, Morocco, South Africa and Spain.
Successes and Delays
The Philippines’ experience--the strides and the delays--exemplifies the importance of good governance, including transparency, accountability, and participation. Without it, policies are unlikely to receive public acceptance or support. While it’s important to choose which policies to initiate in the energy sector, equally as important is fortifying the regulatory and institutional structures that back them.
Worldwide, one out of every five people lacks access to modern electricity. Affordability, quality of service, and social and environmental impacts pose great challenges in providing people with the power they need for lighting, cooking, and other activities. Good governance involving open and inclusive practices is essential to overcoming these pressing obstacles.
The situation worsened in 2003, when Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra set forth a plan to restructure Thailand’s electricity sector and privatize EGAT. Rather than improving Thailand’s electricity sector in the public interest, the plan for privatization was designed to increase capital for powerful stakeholders and upper management employees. It called to maintain EGAT’s unregulated monopoly in order to maximize profits, even at the expense of public needs and environmental vulnerabilities.
Thailand’s electricity sector seemed poised to worsen--until civil society groups stepped in.