Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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Regional Convergence in Bangladesh Using Night Lights (Published online: 10 Jul 2022)

2023-10-12, Basher, Syed Abul, Rashid, Salim, Uddin, Mohammad Riad

We analyse economic convergence across 64 districts of Bangladesh using newly harmonized satellite night light data over 1992–2018. The growth in night lights – taken as a proxy for regional economic activity – reveals overwhelming evidence of absolute convergence. Regional differences in night light (or income) growth have been shrinking at an annual convergence rate of 4.57%, corresponding to a half-life of 15 years. Net migration plays a relatively prominent role in the regional convergence process.

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Land Asset Securitization: An Innovative Approach to Distinguish between Benefit-sharing and Compensation in Hydropower Development

2020-08-08, Shi, Guoqing, Shang, Kai

Development Project (DP) is creating the benefits for all and taking benefit-sharing (BS) as a goal. BS involves paying something above the fair market compensation or replacement value of the assets lost in the displacement and resettlement. BS becomes more important and complicated when the lost assets are not transacted as commodities in a market. BS is a key to resolve the challenges on impoverishment caused development induced displacement and resettlement globally. An innovated BS approach and methodology for land asset securitization (LAS) is proposed. It takes occupied lands as capital investment in the DP rather than for displaced assets’ compensation only based on natural resources transfer theory. LAS takes the approach in lands resourcing, land resources capitalization and land assets securitization. It establishes the mechanism to arrange additional benefits for resettlers. It enables rural resettlers to receive appropriate compensation to sustain basic livelihoods at the DP construction and early commercial operation stage as well as share profits equally during full operation. LAS will prevent either the hydropower developer or the government from having interests in securitized assets. LAS is a sustainable approach to promote win-win among resettlers, developers, governments, and civil society.

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Terrorism, Geopolitics, and Oil Security: Using Remote Sensing to Estimate Oil Production of the Islamic State

2018-04-30, Do, Quy-Toan, Shapiro, Jacob N., Elvidge, Christopher D., Abdel-Jelil, Mohamed, Ahn, Daniel P., Baugh, Kimberly, Hansen-Lewis, Jamie, Zhizhin, Mikhail, Bazilian, Morgan D.

As the world’s most traded commodity, oil production is typically well monitored and analyzed. It also has established links to geopolitics, international relations, and security. Despite this attention, the illicit production, refining, and trade of oil and derivative products occur all over the world and provide significant revenues outside of the oversight and regulation of governments. A prominent manifestation of this phenomenon is how terrorist and insurgent organizations—including the Islamic State group, also known as ISIL/ISIS or Daesh—use oil as a revenue source. Understanding the spatial and temporal variation in production can help determine the scale of operations, technical capacity, and revenue streams. This information, in turn, can inform both security and reconstruction strategies. To this end, we use satellite multi-spectral imaging and ground-truth pre-war output data to effectively construct a real-time census of oil production in areas controlled by the ISIL terrorist group. More broadly, remotely measuring the activity of extractive industries in conflict-affected areas without reliable administrative data can support a broad range of public policy and decisions and military operations.

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Multidimensional Stress Test for Hydropower Investments Facing Climate, Geophysical and Financial Uncertainty

2018-01, Ray, Patrick A., Wi, Sungwook, Yang, Yi-Chen E., Karki, Pravin, Garcia, Luis E., Rodriguez, Diego J., Brown, Casey M.

Investors, developers, policy makers and engineers are rightly concerned about the potential effects of climate change on the future performance of hydropower investments. Hydroelectricity offers potentially low greenhouse-gas emission, renewable energy and reliable energy storage. However, hydroelectricity developments are large, complicated projects and possibly critically vulnerable to changes in climate and other assumptions related to future uncertainties. This paper presents a general assessment approach for evaluating the resilience of hydroelectricity projects to uncertainty in climate and other risk factors (e.g., financial, natural hazard). The process uses a decision analytic framework based on a decision scaling approach, which combines scenario neutral analysis and vulnerability-specific probability assessment. The technical evaluation process involves identification of project objectives, specification of uncertain factors, multi-dimensional sensitivity analysis, and data mining to identify vulnerability-specific scenarios and vulnerability-specific estimations of risk. The process is demonstrated with an application to a proposed hydropower facility on the Arun River in Nepal. The findings of the case study illustrate an example in which climate change is not the critical future uncertainty, and consequently highlight the importance of considering multiple uncertainties in combination.

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Regional Electricity Trade for Hydropower

2021-05, Timilsina, Govinda R.

This study examines the importance of enhancing cross-border transmission interconnections and regional electricity trade to promote hydropower in the South Asia region and it quantifies the potential of hydropower development and trade under alternative scenarios. The paper shows that regional electricity trade is critical for the exploitation of the untapped hydropower resources in South Asia. It finds that hydropower capacity would increase by 2.7 times over the next two decades if a regional electricity market is developed. If a moderate carbon tax is added on top of it, hydropower capacity would be more than three times higher than the current level.

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Supporting Electrification Policy in Fragile States: A Conflict-Adjusted Geospatial Least Cost Approach for Afghanistan

2020-01-21, Korkovelos, Alexandros, Mentis, Dimitrios, Bazilian, Morgan, Howells, Mark, Saraj, Anwar, Hotaki, Sulaiman Fayez, Missfeldt-Ringius, Fanny

Roughly two billion people live in areas that regularly suffer from conflict, violence, and instability. Infrastructure development in those areas is very difficult to implement and fund. As an example, electrification systems face major challenges such as ensuring the security of the workforce or reliability of power supply. This paper presents electrification results from an explorative methodology, where the costs and risks of conflict are explicitly considered in a geo-spatial, least cost electrification model. Discount factor and risk premium adjustments are introduced per technology and location in order to examine changes in electrification outlooks in Afghanistan. Findings indicate that the cost optimal electrification mix is very sensitive to the local context; yet, certain patterns emerge. Urban populations create a strong consumer base for grid electricity, in some cases even under higher risk. For peri-urban and rural areas, electrification options are more sensitive to conflict-induced risk variation. In this paper, we identify these inflection points, quantify key decision parameters, and present policy recommendations for universal electrification of Afghanistan by 2030.

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Water-Energy-Food Nexus: A Platform for Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

2018-03-19, Stephan, Raya, Mohtar, Rabi H., Daher, Bassel, Embid, Antonio, Hillers, Astrid, Ganter, Carl, Karlberg, Louise, Martin, Liber, Nairiz, Saeed, Rodriguez, Diego J., Sarni, Will

This article was developed as an outcome of the “Water-Energy-Food Nexus” High Level Panel (HLP) which took place at the XVI World Water Congress, Cancun Mexico, June 1, 2017. The HLP’s goal was to demonstrate the extent of interconnection between the water, energy, and food Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The HLP highlighted lessons learned from various thematic and regional case studies and experiences. The panel focused on exploring the possible trade-offs among possible pathways for implementation of the SDGs, and on identifying holistic assessment criteria for accounting for potential competition of multiple implementation plans at different scales. This focus led to substantial discussion about ways to improve policy coherence through improved communication between policy and science across both sectors and scales.

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Environmental Potentials of Asphalt Mixtures Fabricated with Red Mud and Fly Ash

2021-03, Siverio Lima, Mayara S., Hajibabaei, M., Thives, L.P., Haritonovs, V., Buttgereit, A., Queiroz, C., Gschösser, F.

Several studies evaluated the feasibility of using residues to compose asphalt mixtures. However, the demand for treatments are often neglected in determining the environmental impacts. This study aims to elucidate the decision-making process over the application of residues (e.g., red mud and fly ash) to produce asphalt mixtures. For comparison purposes, limestone and dolomite are used as reference fillers. The cradle-to-gate approach is applied within three scenarios. In the first scenario, the treatment of the residues is included in the modelling, the second excludes treatment, and the third scenario evaluates the environmental impacts of the residues deposited in landfills. To perform the analysis, indicators such as Global Warming Potential, Acidification, and Cumulative Energy Demand are applied. The results show that the treatment provided to the residues strongly influences the environmental impacts of the production of asphalt mixtures and may be crucial to define the feasibility of the residues application.

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Assessment of Long-Term Sustainable End-Use Energy Demand in Romania

2019, Malla, Sunil, Timilsina, Govinda R.

Romania is the 10th largest economy in EU-28 and also one of the fastest growing economies in the region. An end-use energy demand model is developed for Romania to assess energy requirement by sector and by end-use for 2015–2050 period. Industry would surpass residential sector as the largest final energy-consuming sector from 2035 onwards. Services sector would exhibit the fastest growth of energy consumption. Despite expected decline in country’s population, demand for electricity would grow in the future driven by increased household income and expanded services sector, which is relatively electricity intensive. Still, Romania’s per capita electricity consumption would be about half of the EU-28 average. At the end-use level, thermal processes in industry, space heating in the residential and services, and road passenger travel in transport sector would be dominant throughout the study period. Improvement of energy efficiency in the heating system exhibits the highest potential of energy saving.

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Does Energy Efficiency Promote Economic Growth?: Evidence from a Multicountry and Multisectoral Panel Dataset

2018-01, Rajbhandari, Ashish, Zhang, Fan

We examine the causal relationship between energy efficiency and economic growth based on panel data for 56 high- and middle-income economies from 1978 to 2012. Using a panel vector autoregression approach, we find evidence of a long-run Granger causality from economic growth to lower energy intensity for all economies. We also find evidence of long-run bidirectional causality between lower energy intensity and higher economic growth for middle-income economies. This finding suggests that beyond climate benefits, middle-income economies may also earn an extra growth dividend from energy efficiency measures.