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Indicators for assessment of rural electrification: an approach for the comparison of apples and pears
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Centres, Centre for Health and Building, CHB. KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Design, Work Environment, Safety and Health, DASH.
2008 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, Vol. 36, no 7, 2665-2673 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite a large number of rural electrification projects being implemented in developing countries, there are few published in-depth evaluations of the effects of these projects on sustainable development. There is also no generally accepted method for the assessment of such effects that includes all relevant aspects of sustainability.

An issue of growing importance is whether rural electrification implemented by private entrepreneurs or other non-governmental organisations contribute more effectively to sustainable development than the conventional approach where rural electrification is the responsibility of a government utility.

This paper presents a method for sustainability evaluation based on the use of 39 indicators. The proposed indicators cover the five dimensions of sustainability: technical, economical, social/ethical, environmental and institutional sustainability. The paper presents the indicators and gives a detailed example of the procedure to calculate an indicator based on information that can realistically be collected in field studies.

It is suggested that this interdisciplinary approach will lead to an improved basis for evaluation of projects than previous, more limited approaches. Projects promoted on the basis of information only about prioritised dimensions of sustainability, such as environment, may fail as a result of weaknesses in other dimensions. The proposed method may reduce this risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 36, no 7, 2665-2673 p.
Keyword [en]
sustainability indicators; evaluation; rural electrification
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8674DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.03.023ISI: 000257725900036Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-44649131913OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8674DiVA: diva2:14057
Note
QC 20100812. Uppdaterad från in press till published (20100812).Available from: 2008-06-04 Created: 2008-06-04 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. And Then They Lived Sustainably Ever After?: Experiences from Rural Electrification in Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya
Open this publication in new window or tab >>And Then They Lived Sustainably Ever After?: Experiences from Rural Electrification in Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Accelerating the introduction of basic, clean energy services is seen as a key strategy for promoting sustainable development in rural areas. Still, many people worldwide lack access to modern energy such as electricity, and Africa lags behind other developing regions of the world. Support to rural electrification is therefore given high priority by the national governments and donor organisations.

There is a trend to encourage the involvement of other actors than national utilities for implementation of rural electrification. At the same time, it is required that the activities shall contribute to sustainable development.

The objective of the work presented in this thesis has been to reach increased knowledge on the impact from organisational factors on project sustainability, and to examine whether rural electrification implemented by private entrepreneurs or other non-governmental organisations contribute more effectively to sustainable development than the conventional approach where rural electrification is the responsibility of a government utility. A key activity of the research work has been to improve and develop the present methodologies used for evaluations, as to attain a more functional in-field evaluation method.

The thesis presents findings from seven rural electrification cases in Eastern and Southern Africa and shows how these can be used to illustrate different dimensions of sustainability by means of indicators. The evaluation indicates that the national utilities perform better from a social/ethical perspective, whereas the private organisations and the community-based organisations manage their client-relation issues in a more sustainable way.

In addition, a literature survey shows that among stakeholders there are a number of “concepts-taken-for-granted” as regards to rural electrification. These are not supported by the findings from the seven cases. The observed deviations between expectations and realities can obstruct the development as decision-makers may have unrealistic expectations when planning for new electrification activities. Instead, activities have to be implemented with the empirical reality in mind. By doing so the ambiguities, complexities and all the paradoxes of rural electrification can hopefully be better managed.

The study has been funded by The Swedish International Development Agency, Department for Research Cooperation (SAREC), and Ångpanneföreningen’s Foundation for Research and Development (ÅFORSK).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. XII, 63 p.
Series
Trita-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2008:5
Keyword
Rural Electrification, Sustainable Development, Indicators, Evaluations, Interdisciplinary, Africa
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4804 (URN)978-91-7415-006-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-13, L1, Lantmäterihuset, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100812Available from: 2008-06-04 Created: 2008-06-04 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

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