|Rural Electrification Lineman Bangladesh|
Photo by WB Dhaka
But I have good news for those looking for country level data on rural and urban electrification. The best new source for this is a publication by WHO and UNDP that compiles energy access figures for both biomass energy and electricity. The report is The Energy Access Situation in Developing Countries and is the same source used for the previous post on improved cookstoves.
I know that many governments and international organizations have raised the bar to deal with electricity access issues, and given the modest efforts in the early 1990s this is quite a welcome trend. I know the numbers are now well known, but I cannot resist giving my view of them.
As indicated in a previous blog, the development of rural electrification programs is not an easy task. From a private business or even government utility perspective, investments in rural electrification without any form of incentive or subsidy is a losing proposition. The reason is that the break even point for investments in new distribution takes many years. However, over the long term with the growth of electricity demand in once poor regions, the business can be a winner. Not only is rural electrification a winner for the electricity company, but electricity facilitates growth opportunities in many different sectors.
|Number (Millions) and % of People without Electricity, 2008 |
Source: WHO & UNDP
|Rural Electrification Billing, Rural Bangladesh by WB Dhaka|
(Rural Cooperatives have well over 90% Collection Rate)