Based on experiences in India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand, this report makes the case for greater attention to how electricity sector decisions are made -- and the need for greater public involvement and scrutiny.

Executive Summary

Policymakers, regulators, citizens, and the international community are grappling with the challenges of providing access to reliable and affordable electricity, and addressing major environmental challenges. The advent and rapid spread of a new "standard model" for electricity reform built around private ownership and competition, in the context of significant need for investment, have all left their mark on the electricity sector. But fundamental questions of public interests and sustainable development have not been adequately addressed.

After a decade of experimentation it is now clear that the problem as well as the solution lies less in ownership of the electricity industry, and more in how the sector is governed. This research report makes the case for greater attention to governance of electricity -the processes, institutions, and actors that determine how decisions are made - in order to meet the challenges of sustainable energy. On the whole, policy and regulation are more likely to be successful if they are open to public scrutiny. The report is based on assessments of electricity governance in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines that were completed in 2005 using the WRI-Prayas-NIPFP Electricity Governance Indicator (EGI) Toolkit as a common research methodology.