Kerosene subsidies for household lighting in India: what are the impacts?

Lam, N.L., Pachauri, S. ORCID:, Purohit, P. ORCID:, Nagai, Y., Bates, M.N., Cameron, C., & Smith, K.R. (2016). Kerosene subsidies for household lighting in India: what are the impacts? Environmental Research Letters 11 (4) 044014. 10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/044014.

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Kerosene subsidy reform is a key policy concern in India and other developing countries. As kerosene is widely used for lighting in India, any price change will likely have considerable public welfare impacts on the large fraction of the poor who do not have access to reliable electricity supply for lighting. In this study, we assess historic kerosene use for residential lighting across population groups separated by urban/rural, expenditure, and electricity service levels using data from India. Consumption trends are used to inform a service demand model and evaluate how changes in fuel price, electricity connection, and supply reliability influence environmental, health and economic outcomes. We find that users relying on kerosene for supplemental lighting—in combination ('stacked') with electricity—accounted for 64% of residential kerosene consumed for lighting in 2005. Tested scenarios that addressed service needs of supplemental users had the greatest welfare benefits, especially in the future. Scenarios reducing PM2.5 emissions from kerosene lighting can avert between 50 and 300 thousand disability adjusted life years relative to a baseline scenario in 2030. Lighting kerosene is highly price sensitive, resulting in a drop in demand of 97% in a scenario in which current subsidies are phased out by 2030. Deadweight loss of the subsidy in 2005 is estimated at $200–950 million, with three quarters attributable to supplemental kerosene lighting. Support for cleaner lighting technologies not reliant on fossil fuel subsidies would appear to be 'no regrets' or 'co-benefits' options for India, and could be implemented in parallel with subsidy removal.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Energy (ENE)
Mitigation of Air Pollution (MAG)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2016 16:40
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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