A Quarter Century Effort Yet to Come of Age: A Survey of Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries

Tooraj Jamasb*, Rabindra Nepal, Govinda R. Timilsina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Abstract

More than two decades have passed since the start of the worldwide market-oriented electricity sector reforms. The reforms have varied in terms of structure, market mechanisms, and regulation. However, the passage of time calls for taking stock of the performance of the reforms in developing countries. This paper surveys the empirical literature on electricity sector reforms and draws some conclusions with a view to the future. Overall, the reforms have tended to improve the technical efficiency of the sector. The macroeconomic benefits of reforms are less clear and remain difficult to identify. Also, the gains from the reforms have often not trickled down to consumers because of institutional and regulatory weaknesses. In order to achieve lasting benefits, reforms need to adopt measures that align their pursuit of economic efficiency with those of equity and provision of access. Reforms can deliver more economic benefits and alleviate poverty when the poor have access to electricity. New technologies and institutional capacity building can help improve the performance of reforms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Energy Journal
Volume38
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)195-234
Number of pages40
ISSN0195-6574
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Energy
  • Reform
  • Efficiency
  • Poverty

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