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Energy for Sustainable Development

Rural Electrification: Accelerating Impacts with Complementary Services

It is commonly recognized among rural energy experts and development practitioners that electrification activities in rural areas of developing countries should be accompanied by complementary services. Nevertheless, rural electrification projects that confine themselves to hardware financing and civil works without undertaking escorting activities are observed frequently. This paper highlights the necessity of complementary services such as sensitisation campaigns or business development services by reporting experiences gained during the preparation of a grid based electrification project in rural Benin. One intriguing result is that the target group – be it households, enterprises, or social institutions – is frequently not aware of the economic potentials of electricity and hence cannot be expected to consider the grid connection decision and the usage of electricity rationally in an economic sense. It is concluded that responsibility for complementary services should be in principle with the grid operator, while the government or regulatory bodies have to assure welfare orientation of the services.

Peters, J., M. Harsdorff und F. Ziegler (2009), Rural Electrification: Accelerating Impacts with Complementary Services. Energy for Sustainable Development, 13, 1, 38-42

DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2009.01.004