Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Access to modern energy: a review of barriers, drivers and impacts

  • Jacopo Bonan (a1), Stefano Pareglio (a2) and Massimo Tavoni (a3)
Abstract

Universal access to modern energy services, in terms of access to electricity and to modern cooking facilities, has been recognized as a fundamental challenge for development. Despite strong praise for action and the deployment of large-scale electrification programs and improved cookstove (ICS) distribution campaigns, few studies have shed light on the barriers to, the enablers of and the impacts of access to energy on development outcomes, using rigorous methodologies. This paper reviews this recent strand of research, trying to fill these gaps. The authors focus on the demand-side and household perspective. Their main outcomes of interest are electricity connection and ICS adoption for the analysis of barriers, time allocation, labor market outcomes and welfare for the impact analysis. They provide evidence of significant wellbeing impacts of electrification and mixed evidence for cookstoves.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Adhvaryu, A., Kala, N., and Nyshadham, A. (2016), ‘The light and the heat: productivity co-benefits of energy-saving technology’, [Available at] http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/adhvaryu.pdf.
Adrianzén Agurto, M. (2013), ‘Improved cooking stoves and firewood consumption: quasi-experimental evidence from the Northern Peruvian Andes’, Ecological Economics 89: 135143.
AGECC (2010), Energy for a Sustainable Future, New York: Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.
Aguirre, J. (2014), ‘Impact of rural electrification on education: a case study from Peru’, [Available at] http://udep.edu.pe/cceeee/files/2014/07/1B_3_Aguirre.pdf.
Ahlborg, H. and Hammar, L. (2014), ‘Drivers and barriers to rural electrification in Tanzania and Mozambique – grid-extension, off-grid, and renewable energy technologies’, Renewable Energy 61: 117124.
Alcázar, L., Nakasone, E., and Torero, M. (2007), ‘Provision of public services and welfare of the poor: learning from an incomplete electricity privatization process in rural Peru’, Working Paper No. 3232, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.
Alem, Y., Hassen, S., and Kohlin, G. (2014), ‘Adoption and disadoption of electric cookstoves in urban Ethiopia: evidence from panel data’, Resource and Energy Economics 38: 110124.
Arraiz, I. and Calero, C. (2015), ‘From candles to light: the impact of rural electrification’, Working Paper No IDB-WP-599, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.
Baird, S., Ferreira, F.H.G., Özler, B., and Woolcock, M. (2013), ‘Relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers for schooling outcomes in developing countries: a systematic review’, Campbell Systematic Reviews 9.
Barnes, D.F. (2007), The Challenge of Rural Electrification: Strategies for Developing Countries, Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.
Barnes, D. and Halpern, J. (2000), ‘The role of energy subsidies’, in Brook, P.J. and Smith, S. (eds), Energy and Development Report 2000: Energy Services for the World's Poor, Washington, DC: World Bank.
Barnes, D. and Toman, M. (2006), ‘Energy, equity and economic development’, inLopez, R. and Toman, M. (eds), Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability: New Policy Options, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Barreca, A., Clay, K., Deschenes, O., Greenstone, M., and Shapiro, M. (2016), ‘Adapting to climate change: the remarkable decline in the US temperature–mortality relationship over the twentieth century’, Journal of Political Economy 124(1): 105159.
Barron, M. and Torero, M. (2016), ‘Household electrification and indoor air pollution’, [Available at] https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~manuelb/Research/IAP/IAP-Jan2016.pdf.
Beltramo, T. and Levine, D.I. (2013), ‘The effect of solar ovens on fuel use, emissions and health: results from a randomised controlled trial’, Journal of Development Effectiveness 5: 178207.
Beltramo, T., Blalock, G., Levine, D.I., and Simons, A.M. (2015a), ‘The effect of marketing messages and payment over time on willingness to pay for fuel-efficient cookstoves’, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 118: 333345.
Beltramo, T., Blalock, G., Levine, D.I., and Simons, A.M. (2015b), ‘Does peer use influence adoption of efficient cookstoves? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Uganda’, Journal of Health Communication 20(suppl. 1): 5566.
Bensch, G. and Peters, J. (2013), ‘Alleviating deforestation pressure? Impacts of improved stove dissemination on charcoal consumption in urban Senegal’, Land Economics 89(4): 676698.
Bensch, G. and Peters, J. (2015), ‘The intensive margin of technology adoption – experimental evidence on improved cooking stoves in rural Senegal’, Journal of Health Economics 42: 4463.
Bensch, G., Kluve, J., and Peters, J. (2011), ‘Impacts of rural electrification in Rwanda’, Journal of Development Effectiveness 3: 567588.
Bensch, G., Grimm, M., and Peters, J. (2015), ‘Why do households forego high returns from technology adoption? Evidence from improved cooking stoves in Burkina Faso’, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 116: 187205.
Bensch, G., Sievert, M., Langbein, J., and Kneppel, N. (2016), ‘Effects and mechanisms of market-based reforms on access to electricity in developing countries: a systematic review’, 3ie Systematic Review 31, London: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
Bernard, T. (2012), ‘Impact analysis of rural electrification projects in Sub-Saharan Africa’, World Bank Research Observer 27(1): 3351.
Bernard, T. and Torero, M. (2015), ‘Social interaction effects and connection to electricity: experimental evidence from rural Ethiopia’, Economic Development and Cultural Change 63(3): 459484.
Besley, T. and Case, A. (1993), ‘Modeling technology adoption in developing countries’, American Economic Review 83: 396402.
Bonan, J. Battiston, P., Bleck, J., LeMay-Boucher, P., Pareglio, S., Sarr, B., and Tavoni, M. (2017), ‘Social interaction and technology adoption: experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali’, Unpublished manuscript.
Brooks, N., Bhojvaid, V., Jeuland, M.A., Lewis, J.J., Patange, O., and Pattanayak, S.K. (2016), ‘How much do alternative cookstoves reduce biomass fuel use? Evidence from North India’, Resource and Energy Economics 43: 153171.
Burke, M., Hsiang, S.M, and Miguel, E. (2015), ‘Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production’, Nature 527: 235239.
Burlando, A. (2014), ‘Power outages, power externalities, and baby booms’, Demography 51: 14771500.
Burlig, F. and Preonas, L. (2016), ‘Out of the darkness and into the light? Development effects of electrification in India’, Energy Institute at Haas Working Paper No. 268, Berkeley, CA.
Burwen, J. and Levine, D.I. (2012), ‘A rapid assessment randomized-controlled trial of improved cookstoves in rural Ghana’, Energy for Sustainable Development 16: 328338.
Cabraal, R.A., Barnes, D.F., and Agarwal, S.G. (2005), ‘Productive uses of energy for rural development’, Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30: 117144.
Chakravorty, U., Pelli, M., and Ural Marchand, B. (2014), ‘Does the quality of electricity matter? Evidence from rural India’, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 107: 228247.
Chakravorty, U., Emerick, K., and Ravago, M.-L. (2016), ‘Lighting up the last mile: the benefits and costs of extending electricity to the rural poor’, RFF Discussion Paper No. 16-22, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC.
Charmes, J. (2006), ‘A review of empirical evidence on time use in Africa from UN-sponsored surveys’, inBlackden, C.M. and Wodon, Q. (eds), Time Use and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, Washington, DC: World Bank.
Chauhan, A. and Saini, R.P. (2015), ‘Renewable energy based off-grid rural electrification in Uttarakhand state of India: technology options, modelling method, barriers and recommendations’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51: 662681.
Chong, A. and La Ferrara, E. (2009), ‘Television and divorce: evidence from Brazilian novelas’, Journal of the European Economic Association 7: 458468.
Dasso, R. and Fernandez, F. (2015), ‘The effects of electrification on employment in rural Peru’, IZA Journal of Labor & Development 4: 6; doi:10.1186/s40175-015-0028-4.
Dinkelman, T. (2011), ‘The effects of rural electrification on employment: new evidence from South Africa’, American Economic Review 101(7): 30783108.
Duflo, E., Greenstone, M., and Hanna, R. (2008), ‘Indoor air pollution, health and economic well-being’, S.A.P.I.EN.S. 1(1).
Dupas, P. (2011), ‘Health behavior in developing countries’,Annual Review of Economics 3: 425449.
Dutta, K., Shields, K.N., Edwards, R., and Smith, K.R. (2007), ‘Impact of improved biomass cookstoves on indoor air quality near Pune, India’, Energy for Sustainable Development 11: 1932.
Evans, W.D., Pattanayak, S.K., Young, S., Buszin, J., Rai, S., and Bihm, J.W. (2014), ‘Social marketing of water and sanitation products: a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature’, Social Science & Medicine 110: 1825.
Ezzati, M. and Kammen, D.M. (2001), ‘Indoor air pollution from biomass combustion and acute respiratory infections in Kenya: an exposure-response study’, The Lancet 358: 619624.
Ezzati, M. and Kammen, D.M. (2002), ‘Evaluating the health benefits of transitions in household energy technologies in Kenya’,Energy Policy 30: 815826.
Fetzer, T., Pardo, O., and Shanghavi, A. (2013), ‘An urban legend?! Power rationing, fertility and its effects on mothers’, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1247, Centre for Economic Performance, London.
Foell, W., Pachauri, S., Spreng, D., and Zerriffi, H. (2011), ‘Household cooking fuels and technologies in developing economies’, Energy Policy 39(12): 74877498.
Furukawa, C. (2014), ‘Do solar lamps help children study? Contrary evidence from a pilot study in Uganda’, Journal of Development Studies 50(2): 319341.
Gajate-Garrido, G. (2013), ‘The impact of indoor air pollution on the incidence of life threatening respiratory illnesses: evidence from young children in Peru’, Journal of Development Studies 49(4): 500515.
Gertler, P.J., Shelef, O., Wolfram, C.D., and Fuchs, A. (2016), ‘The demand for energy-using assets among the world's rising middle classes’, American Economic Review 106: 13661401.
Gonzalez, M. and Rossi, M.A. (2007), ‘The impact of electricity sector privatization on public health’, IADB Working Paper No. R-524, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.
Grimm, M., Sparrow, R., and Tasciotti, L. (2015), ‘Does electrification spur the fertility transition? Evidence from Indonesia’, Demography 52: 17731796.
Grimm, M., Munyehirwe, A., Peters, J., and Sievert, M. (forthcoming), ‘A first step up the energy ladder? Low cost solar kits and household's welfare in rural Rwanda’, World Bank Economic Review.
Grogan, L. and Sadanand, A. (2013), ‘Rural electrification and employment in poor countries: evidence from Nicaragua’, World Development 43: 252265.
Hanna, R. and Oliva, P. (2015), ‘Moving up the energy ladder: the effect of an increase in economic well-being on the fuel consumption choices of the poor in India’, American Economic Review 105: 242246.
Hanna, R., Duflo, E., and Greenstone, M. (2016), ‘Up in smoke: the influence of household behavior on the long-run impact of improved cooking stoves’, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 8(1): 80114.
Harrell, S., Beltramo, T., Blalock, G., Kyayesimira, J., Levine, D.I., and Simons, A.M. (2016), ‘What is a “meal”? Comparative methods of auditing carbon offset compliance for fuel-efficient cookstoves’, Ecological Economics 128: 816.
Hassan, F. and Lucchino, P. (2016), ‘Powering education’, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1438, Centre for Economic Performance, London.
Heltberg, R. (2003), ‘Household fuel and energy use in developing countries: a multi-country study’, ESMAP Technical Paper No. 42, World Bank, Washington, DC.
Heltberg, R. (2004), ‘Fuel switching: evidence from eight developing countries’, Energy Economics 26: 869887.
IEA (International Energy Agency) (2016), World Energy Outlook, Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
IEG (2008), The Welfare Impacts of Rural Electrification: A Reassessment of the Costs and Benefits, IEG Impact Evaluation, Washington, DC: World Bank.
Jensen, R. and Oster, E. (2009), ‘The power of TV: cable television and women's status in India’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 124: 10571094.
Jeuland, M., Pattanayak, S.K., Soo, T., and Sheng, J. (2014), ‘Preference heterogeneity and adoption of environmental health improvements: evidence from a cookstove promotion experiment’, Duke Environmental and Energy Economics Working Paper No. EE14–10, Duke Nicholas Institute, Durham, NC.
Khandker, S.R., Barnes, D.F, Samad, H.A., and Rubaba, A. (2012), ‘Who benefits most from rural electrification? Evidence in India’, Policy Research Working Paper No. 6095, World Bank, Washington, DC.
Khandker, S.R., Barnes, D.F, and Samad, H.A. (2013), ‘Welfare impacts of rural electrification: a panel data analysis from Vietnam’, Economic Development and Cultural Change 61: 659692.
Kishore, V.V.N. and Ramana, P.V. (2002), ‘Improved cookstoves in rural India: how improved are they? A critique of the perceived benefits from the National Programme on Improved Chulhas (NPIC)’, Energy 27: 4763.
Kohlin, G., Sills, E.O., Pattanayak, S.K., and Wilfong, C. (2011), ‘Energy, gender and development: what are the linkages? Where is the evidence?’, Policy Research Working Paper No. 125, World Bank, Washington, DC.
Kudo, Y., Shonchoy, S.A., and Takahashi, K. (2016), ‘Can solar lanterns improve youth academic performance? Experimental evidence from Bangladesh’, Unpublished manuscript.
La Ferrara, E. (2016), ‘Mass media and social change: can we use television to fight poverty?’, Journal of the European Economic Association 14(4): 791827.
La Ferrara, E., Chong, A., and Duryea, S. (2012), ‘Soap operas and fertility: evidence from Brazil’, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4: 131.
Lee, K., Brewer, E., Christiano, C., Meyo, F., Miguel, E., Podolsky, M., Rosa, J., and Wolfram, C. (2016a), ‘Electrification for “under grid” households in rural Kenya’, Development Engineering 1: 2635.
Lee, K., Miguel, E., and Wolfram, C. (2016b), ‘Experimental evidence on the demand for and costs of rural electrification’, NBER Working Paper No. 22292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Washington, DC.
Lenz, L., Munyehirwe, A., Peters, J., and Sievert, M. (2017), ‘Does large-scale infrastructure investment alleviate poverty? Impacts of Rwanda's electricity access roll-out program’, World Development 89: 88110.
Levine, D.I., Beltramo, T., Blalock, G., and Cotterman, C. (2016), ‘What impedes efficient adoption of products? Evidence from randomized sales offers for fuel-efficient cookstoves in Uganda’, CEGA Working Paper No. 59, Center for Effective Global Action, Berkeley, CA.
Lewis, J.J. and Pattanayak, S.K. (2012), ‘Who adopts improved fuels and cookstoves? A systematic review’, Environmental Health Perspectives 120(5): 637645.
Lewis, J.J., Bhojvaid, V., Brooks, N., Das, I., Jeuland, M.A., Patange, O., and Pattanayak, S.K. (2015), ‘Piloting improved cookstoves in India’, Journal of Health Communication 20: 2842.
Lim, S.S., Vos, T., Flaxman, A.D., et al. (2013), ‘A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010’, The Lancet 380: 22242260.
Lipscomb, M., Mobarak, A.M., and Barham, T. (2013), ‘Development effects of electrification: evidence from the topographic placement of hydropower plants in Brazil’, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 5: 200231.
List, J.A., Shaikh, A.M., and Xu, Y. (2016), ‘Multiple hypothesis testing in experimental economics’, NBER Working Paper No. 21875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Washington, DC.
Mapelli, F. and Mungwe, J.N. (2013), ‘Modern energies services for cooking: from improved cook-stoves to domestic and community biogas based systems’, inColombo, E., Bologna, S. and Masera, D. (eds), Renewable Energy for Unleashing Sustainable Development, Cham: Springer International, pp. 4374.
Martin, W.J., Glass, R.I., Balbus, J.M., and Collins, F.S. (2011), ‘A major environmental cause of death’, Science 334: 180181.
Masera, O.R., Saatkamp, B.D., and Kammen, D.M. (2000), ‘From linear fuel switching to multiple cooking strategies: a critique and alternative to the energy ladder model’, World Development 28: 20832103.
Miller, G. and Mobarak, A.M. (2013), ‘Gender differences in preferences, intra-household externalities, and low demand for improved cookstoves’, NBER Working Paper No. 18964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Washington, DC.
Miller, G. and Mobarak, A.M. (2014), ‘Learning about technologies through opinion leaders and social network: experimental evidence on non-traditional stoves in rural Bangladesh’, Marketing Science 34(4): 480499.
Mobarak, A.M., Dwivedi, P., Bailis, R., Hildemann, L., and Miller, G. (2012), ‘Low demand for nontraditional cookstove technologies’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: 1081510820.
Mueller, V., Pfaff, A., Peabody, J., Liu, Y., and Smith, K.R. (2013), ‘Improving stove evaluation using survey data: who received which intervention matters’, Ecological Economics 93: 301312.
Niez, A. (2010), ‘Comparative study on rural electrification policies in emerging economies: key successful policies’, Information Paper No. 2010/3. International Energy Agency, Paris.
Olken, B.A. (2009), ‘Do television and radio destroy social capital? Evidence from Indonesian villages’, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 1: 133.
Pattanayak, S.K. and Pfaff, A. (2009), ‘Behavior, environment, and health in developing countries: evaluation and valuation’, Annual Review of Resource Economics 1: 183217.
Peters, J. and Sievert, M. (2016), ‘Impacts of rural electrification revisited – the African context’, Journal of Development Effectiveness 8(3): 327345.
Peters, J., Harsdorff, M., and Ziegler, F. (2009), ‘Rural electrification: accelerating impacts with complementary services’, Energy for Sustainable Development 13: 3842.
Ranganathan, V. (1993), ‘Rural electrification revisited’, Energy Policy 21(2): 142151.
Rosenbaum, J., Derby, E., and Dutta, K. (2015), ‘Understanding consumer preference and willingness to pay for improved cookstoves in Bangladesh’, Journal of Health Communication 20(suppl. 1): 2027.
Ruiz-Mercado, I., Masera, O., Zamora, H., and Smith, K.R. (2011), ‘Adoption and sustained use of improved cookstoves’, Energy Policy 39(12): 75577566.
Ruiz-Mercado, I., Canuz, E., Walker, J.L., and Smith, K.R. (2013), ‘Quantitative metrics of stove adoption using stove use monitors (SUMs)’, Biomass and Bioenergy 57: 136148.
Samad, H.A., Khandker, S.R., Asaduzzaman, M., and Yunus, M. (2013), ‘The benefits of solar home systems: an analysis from Bangladesh’, Policy Research Working Paper No. 6724, World Bank, Washington, DC.
Silwal, A.R. and McKay, A. (2015), ‘The impact of cooking with firewood on respiratory health: evidence from Indonesia’, Journal of Development Studies 51(12): 16191633.
Sinton, J.E., Smith, K.R., Peabody, J.W., Yaping, L., Xiliang, Z., Edwards, R., and Quan, G. (2004), ‘An assessment of programs to promote improved household stoves in China’, Energy for Sustainable Development 8: 3352.
Smith, K.R., Shuhua, G., Kun, H., and Daxiong, Q. (1993), ‘One hundred million improved cookstoves in China: how was it done?’, World Development 21: 941961.
Smith, K.R., Mehta, S., and Desai, M.A. (2004), ‘Indoor smoke from solid fuels: assessing the environmental burden of disease at national and local levels’, Environmental Burden of Disease Series No. 4, World Health Organization, Geneva.
Smith, K.R., McCracken, J.P., Weber, M.W., et al. (2011), ‘Effect of reduction in household air pollution on childhood pneumonia in Guatemala (RESPIRE): a randomised controlled trial’, The Lancet 378: 17171726.
Smith-Sivertsen, T., Díaz, E, Pope, D., et al. (2009), ‘Effect of reducing indoor air pollution on women's respiratory symptoms and lung function: RESPIRE Guatemala randomized trial’, American Journal of Epidemiology 170(2): 211220.
Squires, T. (2015), ‘The impact of access to electricity on education: evidence from Honduras’, [Available at] https://economics.ucr.edu/seminars_colloquia/2014-15/applied_economics/Squires_JMP_Electricity.pdf.
Stainstreet, D., Puzzolo, E., Bruce, N., Pope, D., and Rehfuess, E. (2014), ‘Factors influencing household uptake of improved solid fuel stoves in low- and middle-income countries: a qualitative systematic review’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(8): 82288250.
van der Kroon, B., Brouwer, R., and van Beukering, P. (2014), ‘The impact of the household decision environment on fuel choice behavior’, Energy Economics 44: 236247.
van de Walle, D., Ravallion, M., Mendiratta, V., and Koolwal, G. (2015), ‘Long-term gains from electrification in rural India’, World Bank Economic Review lhv057.
Venkataraman, C., Sagar, A.D., Habib, G., Lam, N., and Smith, K.R. (2010), ‘The Indian national initiative for advanced biomass cookstoves: the benefits of clean combustion’, Energy for Sustainable Development 14: 6372.
WHO (World Health Organization) (2008), The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 Update, [Available at] http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GBD_report_2004update_full.pdf.
Winkler, H., Simões, A.F., La Rovere, E.L., Alam, M., Rahman, A., and Mwakasonda, S. (2011), ‘Access and affordability of electricity in developing countries’, World Development 39: 10371050.
Wolfram, C., Shelef, O., and Gertler, P. (2012), ‘How will energy demand develop in the developing world?’, Journal of Economic Perspectives 26: 119138.
Yu, F. (2011), ‘Indoor air pollution and children's health: net benefits from stove and behavioral interventions in rural China’, Environmental and Resource Economics 50: 495514.
Zhang, J. and Smith, K.R. (2007), ‘Household air pollution from coal and biomass fuels in China: measurements, health impacts, and interventions’, Environmental Health Perspectives 115: 848855.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environment and Development Economics
  • ISSN: 1355-770X
  • EISSN: 1469-4395
  • URL: /core/journals/environment-and-development-economics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Bonan supplementary material
Online Appendix

 PDF (690 KB)
690 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed