Energy for All: Harnessing the Power of Energy Access for Chronic Poverty Reduction

Pachauri, S. ORCID:, Scott, A., Scott, L., & Shepherd, A. (2013). Energy for All: Harnessing the Power of Energy Access for Chronic Poverty Reduction. Policy Guide 3, Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN)

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Policy makers are trying to balance the demands of three broad objectives in the energy sector; energy security to ensure economic stability and growth; reducing energy poverty, by ensuring access to electricity and clean-combusting fuels and equipment for the poor; and managing greenhouse gas emissions from energy. The World Energy Council has called this the "energy trilemma" - of how to achieve an appropriate balance between these sometimes conflicting objectives.

Over the past two years, the challenge of providing people living in poverty with access to modern energy has been prominent in policy debates. The UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All initiative is instrumental in highlighting the importance of energy access for poverty reduction. Some developing countries are now drawing-up national strategies for Sustainable Energy for All and over the next few years, attention is likely to continue in the debates about the post-2015 development agenda and during the UN Decade for Sustainable Energy for All (2014-24).

However, and despite this policy focus, governments sometimes overlook the needs of chronically poor people when initiating energy for all programmes as they are often the most difficult for energy service providers to reach, and are least able to afford services when they are available. Chronically poor people therefore need to be explicitly considered in measures to deliver energy services.

Research and policy evaluation tells us that access to electricity, together with the assets which enable its use in a transformational way, improved cooking technologies, and mechanical power can help people to escape from persistent poverty. There are three broad policy areas which can help achieve this:

- expanding electricity coverage and distributing clean-combusting fuels and equipment to populations not yet served;

- improving the ability of the poorest people to afford these when they are available;

- enhancing the reliability of energy services. This is important if energy is to contribute in a transformational way to escaping poverty. A minimalist approach will not do - energy is needed by poor households for productive uses as well as domestic and community needs.

This CPAN Policy Guide provides guidance for developing country policy makers and their advisers when considering the specific measures necessary to ensure that chronically poor people are included in efforts to deliver sustainable energy for all. It is therefore intended for policy and programme designers and implementers in energy agencies, as well as policymakers in ministries of finance and planning, energy, rural development and health alongside those in local government. One message from this guide is that co-ordination and inter-sectoral collaboration is required to ensure that the expansion of energy services contributes to poverty reduction.

Item Type: Other
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Bibliographic Reference: Policy Guide 3, Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:49
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:23

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