Energy, Poverty, and Development


Incredibly, close to one-quarter of humanity lives without electricity or other modern forms of energy, while as many as one-third of the world’s population relies (at least in part) on traditional biofuels, such as cow dung or firewood, at great cost to its health, security, and economic welfare. Although these stark facts have only recently been fully acknowledged, energy deprivation is a major obstacle to development efforts around the world, especially—though not exclusively—in the ‘Bottom Billion’ economies ...

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Incredibly, close to one-quarter of humanity lives without electricity or other modern forms of energy, while as many as one-third of the world’s population relies (at least in part) on traditional biofuels, such as cow dung or firewood, at great cost to its health, security, and economic welfare. Although these stark facts have only recently been fully acknowledged, energy deprivation is a major obstacle to development efforts around the world, especially—though not exclusively—in the ‘Bottom Billion’ economies of sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. Indeed, sustainable development cannot succeed without a robust energy-access component. Furthermore, this is not just a ghastly problem for the poor, but rather a global concern. Energy deprivation is a leading contributor to disease epidemics, social discontent, political unrest, and environmental instability—it gravely threatens the ‘energy-haves’ as well as the ‘have-nots’.

Research in and around energy, poverty, and development is now flourishing. But much of the relevant literature remains inaccessible or is highly specialized and compartmentalized, so that it is difficult for many of those who are interested in the subject to obtain an informed, balanced, and comprehensive overview. This new four-volume collection from Routledge’s acclaimed series, Critical Concepts in Development Studies, meets the need for a reference work to make sense of the subject’s vast and dispersed literature.

The collection includes a full index and is supplemented by a newly written introduction, which places the gathered materials in their historical and intellectual context. Energy, Poverty, and Development is an essential reference work which will be valued as a vital resource by students, academics, policy-makers, and practitioners.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lack of both clean cookfuels and access to electricity together represent one of the most pressing global problems today, with profound implications for human health, the environment, our climate, and economic development.

This compendium of articles offers an impressive and comprehensive exploration of this timely topic."

- Kirk R. Smith, Professor of Global Environmental Health, 2012 Tyler Laureate for Environmental Achievement

"Energy access is one of the fastest evolving, most critical topics linking local benefits, systems innovation, and climate change. This compilation is a vitally needed and invaluable snapshot of the state of the field:

essential reading!"

- Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy, University of California, Berkeley

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Benjamin K. Sovacool, Director of the Danish Center for Energy Technology, AU-Herning, Denmark; Professor of Social Sciences at the School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark; and Director of the Energy Security and Justice Program at the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School, USA.

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Table of Contents

Volume I: Benefits of Energy Access

1. World Bank, Meeting the Challenge for Rural Energy and Development (World Bank, 1996), pp. 1–10.

3. José Goldemberg, Amulya K. N. Reddy, Kirk R. Smith, and Robert H. Williams, ‘Rural Energy in Developing Countries’, World Energy Assessment: Energy and the Challenge of Sustainability (2000), pp. 368–89.

4. International Energy Agency, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Energy Poverty: How to Make Modern Energy Access Universal? (OECD, 2010).

5. Practical Action, Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2010 (Practical Action Publishing), pp. v–vi, 1–36.

6. ‘Economics of Wood Energy’, State of the World’s Forests 2005 (Food and Agricultural Organization, 2005), pp. 98–107.

7. Adrián Ghilardi, Tuyeni Mwampamba, and Gautam Dutt, ‘What Role Will Charcoal Play in the Coming Decades? Insights from Up-to-Date Findings and Reviews’, Energy for Sustainable Development, 2013, 17, 73–4.

8. Evan Mills, ‘The Specter of Fuel-Based Lighting’, Science, 27 May 2005, 308, 1263–4.

9. ‘Designing a National Electrification Program for Universal Access’ and ‘Electricity Access: Delivering Results on the Ground’, in D. Ostojic et al., One Goal, Two Paths: Achieving Universal Access to Modern Energy in East Asia and the Pacific (World Bank Group, Sept. 2011).

10. Annemarije Dijk, L. Jooijman-van, and J. Clancy, ‘Impacts of Electricity Access to Rural Enterprises in Bolivia, Tanzania, and Vietnam’, Energy for Sustainable Development, Mar. 2010, 14, 1, 14–21.

11. Douglas Barnes and Gerald Foley, Rural Electrification in the Developing World: A Summary of Lessons from Successful Programs (Joint UNDP/World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) Report, World Bank, Dec. 2004).

12. Giri Venkataramanan and Chris Marnay, ‘A Larger Role for Microgrids’, IEEE Power & Energy, May/June 2008, 78–82.

13. Daniel M. Kammen, ‘The Challenge of Making Reliable Carbon Abatement Estimates: The Case of Diesel Microgrids’, Sapiens, 2012, 5, 1, 1–9.

14. Daniel M. Kammen and William F. Lankford, ‘Cooking in the Sunshine’, Nature, 1990, 348, 385–6.

15. ‘Modern Cooking Solutions: The Way Forward’, in D. Ostojic et al., One Goal, Two Paths: Achieving Universal Access to Modern Energy in East Asia and the Pacific (World Bank Group, Sept. 2011).

16. ‘Meeting the MDGs: The Energy Challenge’ and ‘Energy and the MDGs’, in V. Modi, S. McDade, D. Lallement, and J. Saghir, Energy Services for the Millennium Development Goals (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/ World Bank and United Nations Development Programme, 2005).

17. World Health Organization, Fuel for Life: Household Energy and Health (2006).

18. ‘Introduction to Gender and Energy’, United Nations Development Program, Gender and Energy Toolkit (Dec. 2004).

19. Jennifer Burneya, Lennart Woltering, Marshall Burke, Rosamond Naylora, and Dov Pasternak, ‘Solar-Powered Drip Irrigation Enhances Food Security in the Sudano-Sahel’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (forthcoming).

20. M. Bazilian and R. Pielke, Jr. ‘Making Energy Access Meaningful’, Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2013, 74–9.

21. Lakshman Guruswamy, ‘Energy Poverty’, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 2011, 36, 139–61.

Volume II: Regional and Country Profiles

22. Youba Sokona, Yacob Mulugetta, Haruna Gujba, ‘Widening Energy Access in Africa: Towards Energy Transition’, Energy Policy, 2012, 47, 3–10.

23. Gisela Prasad, ‘Improving Access to Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Current Opinion in Energy Systems, 2011, 3, 248–53.

24. Asian Development Bank, ‘Asia’s Energy Challenge: Critical Energy Needs for the Asian Century’, Asian Development Outlook (Manila: Asian Development Bank, 2013), pp. 53–118.

25. D. Palit and A. Chaurey, 2011. ‘Off-grid rural Electrification Experiences from South Asia: Status and Best Practices’, Energy for Sustainable Development, 2011, 15, 266–76.

26. United Nations Development Program, Energy Poverty in the Pacific Island Countries: Challenges and the Way Forward (UNDP/APRC, 2007).

27. United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and UNDP, Contribution of Energy Services to the Millennium Development Goals and to Poverty Alleviation in Latin America and the Caribbean (2009).

28. Laura El-Katiri, ‘Energy Poverty in the Middle East and North Africa’, in Antoine Halff, Benjamin Sovacool, and Jon Rozhon (eds.) Energy Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2014).

29. Sk Noim Uddin and Ros Taplin, ‘Toward Sustainable Energy Development in Bangladesh’, Journal of Environment Development, 2008, 17, 292.

30. Bo Kong, ‘Governing China’s Energy in the Context of Global Governance’, Global Policy, Sept. 2011, 2, 51–65.

31. Yacob Mulugetta, ‘Human Capacity and Institutional Development Towards a Sustainable Energy Future in Ethiopia’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2008, 12, 1435–50.

32. Navroz K. Dubash, ‘From Norm Taker to Norm Maker? Indian Energy Governance in Global Context’, Global Policy, Sept. 2011, 2, 66–79.

33. B. P. Resosudarmo, A. Alisjahbana, and D. A. Nurdianto, ‘Energy Security in Indonesia’, Energy Security in the Era of Climate Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 161–79.

34. Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, A Comprehensive Study and Analysis on Energy Consumption Patterns in Kenya (July 2010) (extracts).

35. Michael Watts, ‘Resource Curse? Governmentality, Oil, and Power in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’, Geopolitics, 2004, 9, 1, 50–80.

36. Kevin Punzalan, ‘Energy Security in the Philippines: Challenges and Opportunities’, in Zha Daojiong (ed.), Managing Regional Energy Vulnerabilities in East Asia (Routledge, 2013), pp. 171–87.

Volume III: Barriers, Challenges, and Failures

37. K. Riahi, F. Dentener, D. Gielen, A. Grubler, J. Jewell, Z. Klimont, V. Krey, D. McCollum, S. Pachauri, S. Rao, B. van Ruijven, D. P. van Vuuren, and C. Wilson, ‘Energy Pathways for Sustainable Development’, Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future (Cambridge University Press and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria, 2012), pp. 1260–7.

38. J. P. Painuly, ‘Barriers to Renewable Energy Penetration: A Framework for Analysis’, Renewable Energy, 2001, 24, 73–89.

39. Mark I. Howells, Sandra Jonsson, Emilia Kack, Philip Lloyd, Kevin Bennett, Tony Leiman, and Beatrice Conradie, ‘Calabashes for Kilowatt-hours: Rural Energy and Market Failure’, Energy Policy, 2010, 38, 2729–38.

40. James T. Murphy, ‘Making the Energy Transition in Rural East Africa: Is Leapfrogging an Alternative?’, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2001, 68, 173–93.

41. ‘Barriers and Impediments’, United Nations Development Program, Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in the Asia-Pacific (UNDP/APRC, 2013).

42. Eric Martinot and Kilian Reiche, Regulatory Approaches to Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy: Case Studies from Six Developing Countries (World Bank Working Paper, June 2000).

43. B. K. Sovacool, S. Dhakal, O. Gippner, and M. J. Bambawale, ‘Halting Hydro: A Review of the Socio-Technical Barriers to Hydroelectric Power Plants in Nepal’, Energy, May 2011, 36, 5, 3468–76.

44. Francisco P Bernardo and Gregorio U. Kilayko, ‘Promoting Rural Energy Technology: The Case of Gasifiers in the Philippines’, World Development, 1990, 18, 4, 565–74.

45. M. Landi, B. K. Sovacool, and J. Eidsness, ‘Cooking with Gas: Policy Lessons from Rwanda’s National Domestic Biogas Program (NDBP)’, Energy for Sustainable Development, Aug. 2013, 17, 4, 347–56.

46. Donna Green ‘Thailand’s Solar White Elephants: An Analysis of 15 Years of Solar-Battery Charging Programmes in Northern Thailand’, Energy Policy, 2004, 32, 747–60.

47. B. K. Sovacool, A. L. D’Agostino, and M. J. Bambawale, ‘The Socio-Technical Barriers to Solar Home Systems (SHS) in Papua New Guinea: "Choosing Pigs, Prostitutes, and Poker Chips Over Panels"’, Energy Policy, Mar. 2011, 39, 3, 1532–42.

48. Omar R. Masera, Barbara Saatkamp, and Daniel Kammen, ‘From Linear Fuel Switching to Multiple Cooking Strategies: A Critique and Alternative to the Energy Ladder Model’, World Development, 2000, 28, 12, 2083–103.

49. Greg Hiemstra-van der Horst and Alice J. Hovorka, ‘Reassessing the "Energy Ladder": Household Energy Use in Maun, Botswana’, Energy Policy, 2008, 36, 3333–44.

50. Arne Jacobson, ‘Connective Power: Solar Electrification and Social Change in Kenya’, World Development, 2007, 35, 1, 144–62.

51. Karin Troncoso, Alicia Castillo, Omar Masera, and Leticia Merino, ‘Social Perceptions About a Technological Innovation for Fuelwood Cooking: Case Study in Rural Mexico’, Energy Policy, 2007, 35, 2799–810.

52. Kirk R. Smith and Karabi Dutta, ‘Cooking with Gas’, Energy for Sustainable Development, 2011, 15, 115–16.

53. B. K. Sovacool, S. Clarke, K. Johnson, M. Crafton, J. Eidsness, and D. Zoppo, ‘The Energy-Enterprise-Gender Nexus: Lessons from the Multifunctional Platform (MFP) in Mali’, Renewable Energy, Feb. 2013, 50, 115–25.

54. Douglas F. Barnes, Kerry Krutilla, and William Hyde, The Urban Household Energy Transition Energy, Poverty, and the Environment in the Developing World (World Bank Working Paper, Mar. 2004).

55. Jas Gill, ‘Improved Stoves in Developing Countries: A Critique’, Energy Policy, Apr. 1987, 135–44.

56. Rema Hanna, Esther Duflo, and Michael Greenstone, Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cookstoves (Harvard University Working Paper 12/10, 16 Apr. 2012).

57. S. Karekezi and W. Kithyoma, ‘Renewable Energy Strategies for Rural Africa: Is a PV-led Renewable Energy Strategy the Right Approach for Providing Modern Energy to the Rural Poor of Sub-saharan Africa?’, Energy Policy, 2002, 30, 1071–86.

58. B. K. Sovacool, C. Cooper, M. Bazilian, K. Johnson, D. Zoppo, S. Clarke, J. Eidsness, M. Crafton, T. Velumail, and H. A. Raza, ‘What Moves and Works: Broadening the Consideration of Energy Poverty’, Energy Policy, Mar. 2012, 42, 715–19.

Volume IV: Solutions and Successes

59. E. Martinot, A. Cabraal, and S. Mathur, ‘World Bank/GEF Solar Home System Projects: Experiences and Lessons Learned 1993–2000’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2001, 5, 39–57.

60. Hisham Zerriffi, ‘Innovative Business Models for the Scale-up of Energy Access Efforts for the Poorest’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2011, 3, 272–8.

61. B. K. Sovacool, ‘Expanding Renewable Energy Access with Pro-Poor Public Private Partnerships in the Developing World’, Energy Strategy Reviews, Mar. 2013, 1, 3, 181–92.

62. Ellen Morris and Gathu Kirubi, Bringing Small-Scale Finance to the Poor for Modern Energy Services: What is the Role of Government? (United Nations Development Programme, Aug. 2009).

63. Ellen Morris, Jacob Winiecki, Sonali Chowdhary, and Kristen Cortiglia, Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: Summary of Findings (USAID, 2007), ch. 1.

64. P. Sharath Chandra Rao, Jeffrey B. Miller, Young Doo Wang, and John B. Byrne, ‘Energy-Microfinance Intervention for Below Poverty Line Households in India’, Energy Policy, 2009, 37, 1694–712.

65. Edward Vine, ‘An International Survey of the Energy Service Company (ESCO) Industry’, Energy Policy, 2005, 33, 691–704.

66. Annabel Yadoo and Heather Cruickshank, ‘The Value of Cooperatives in Rural Electrification’, Energy Policy, 2010, 38, 2941–7.

67. Douglas F. Barnes, ‘Effective Solutions for Rural Electrification in Developing Countries: Lessons from Successful Programs’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2011, 3, 260–4.

68. Harald Winkler, Andre Simoes, Emilio la Rovere, Mozaharul Alam, Atiq Rahman, and Stanford Mwakasonda, ‘Access and Affordability of Electricity in Developing Countries’, World Development, 2011, 39, 6, 1037–50.

69. Maria F. Gomez and Semida Silveira, ‘Rural Electrification of the Brazilian Amazon: Achievements and Lessons’, Energy Policy, 2010, 38, 6251–60.

70. Hisham Zerriffi, ‘Distributed Rural Electrification in China’, Rural Electrification: Strategies for Distributed Generation (Springer, 2011), pp. 111–35.

71. Wouter Drinkwaard, Arjan Kirkels, and Henny Romijn, ‘A Learning-Based Approach to Understanding Success in Rural Electrification: Insights from Micro Hydro Projects in Bolivia’, Energy for Sustainable Development, 2010, 14, 232–7.

72. Benjamin K. Sovacool, ‘Expanding Rural Access to Renewable Energy: Lessons from Sri Lanka’s Energy Services Delivery Project (ESDP)’, Journal of Resources, Energy, and Development, 2013, 10, 2, 79–104.

73. Kirk R. Smith, Gu Shuhua, Huang Kun, and Qiu Daxiong, ‘One Hundred Million Improved Cookstoves in China: How Was it Done?’, World Development, 1993, 21, 6, 941–61.

74. Ilse Ruiz-Mercado, Omar Masera, Hilda Zamora, and Kirk R. Smith, ‘Adoption and Sustained Use of Improved Cookstoves’, Energy Policy, 2011, 39, 7557–66.

75. Hanung Budya and Muhammad Yasir Arofat, ‘Providing Cleaner Energy Access in Indonesia Through the Megaproject of Kerosene Conversion to LPG’, Energy Policy, 2011, 39, 7575–86.

76. Richard H Acker and Daniel M Kammen, ‘The Quiet (Energy) Revolution: Analysing the Dissemination of Photovoltaic Power Systems in Kenya’, Energy Policy, 1996, 24, 1, 81–111.

77. International Finance Corporation and the Global Environment Facility, ‘IFCs Lessons of Experience’, Selling Solar: Lessons from More Than a Decade of IFC’s Experience (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007), pp. 16–25.

78. Daniel H. Bouille et al., ‘Policies For Energy Access’, Global Energy Assessment (Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 1603–64.

79. Sam Wong, ‘Overcoming Obstacles Against Effective Solar Lighting Interventions in South Asia’, Energy Policy, 2012, 40, 110–20.

80. B. K. Sovacool, ‘Deploying Off-Grid Technology to Eradicate Energy Poverty’, Science, 5 Oct. 2012, 338, 47–8.

81. B. K. Sovacool, ‘Design Principles for Renewable Energy Programs in Developing Countries’, Energy & Environmental Science, Nov. 2012, 5, 11, 9157–62.

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