Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Infrastructure economics; energy access; monitoring and evaluation
Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated January 31, 2023
Sudeshna Banerjee is a Senior Economist in the Sustainable Energy Department of the World Bank. She has worked on energy and infrastructure issues in the South Asia and Africa departments in both operations and analytic assignments. She focuses on project economics, monitoring and evaluation, and on a broad range of energy sector issues including energy access, energy subsidies, renewable energy, and sector assessments. Ms. Banerjee holds a Ph.D in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and M.A. and B.A. degrees in Economics from Delhi University.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
More Power to India : The Challenge of Electricity Distribution(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-06-18) Pargal, Sheoli ; Banerjee, Sudeshna GhoshThis report assesses progress in implementing the government of India's power sector reform agenda and examines the performance of the sector along different dimensions. India has emphasized that an efficient, resilient, and financially robust power sector is essential for growth and poverty reduction. Almost all investment-climate surveys point to poor availability and quality of power as critical constraints to commercial and manufacturing activity and national competitiveness. Further, more than 300 million Indians live without electricity, and those with power must cope with unreliable supply, pointing to huge unsatisfied demand and restricted consumer welfare. This report reviews the evolution of the Indian power sector since the landmark Electricity Act of 2003, with a focus on distribution as key to the performance and viability of the sector. While all three segments of the power sector (generation, transmission, and distribution) are important, revenues originate with the customer at distribution, so subpar performance there hurts the entire value chain. Persistent operational and financial shortcomings in distribution have repeatedly led to central bailouts for the whole sector, even though power is a concurrent subject under the Indian constitution and distribution is almost entirely under state control. Ominously, the recent sharp increase in private investment and market borrowing means power sector difficulties are more likely to spill over to lenders and affect the broader financial sector. Government-initiated reform efforts first focused on the generation and transmission segments, reflecting the urgent need for adding capacity and evacuating it and the complexity of issues to be addressed at the consumer interface. Consequently, distribution improvements have lagged, but it is now clear that they need to be a priority. This report thus analyzes the multiple sources of weakness in distribution and identifies the key challenges to improving performance in the short and medium term. The report is aimed at policy makers and government officials, academics, and civil society in the fields of energy, governance, and infrastructure economics and finance, as well as private investors and lenders in the energy arena.
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Lighting Rural India : Load Segregation Eexperience in Selected States(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-02) Khanna, Ashish ; Mukherjee, Mohua ; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Saraswat, Kavita ; Khurana, ManiSocioeconomic development of the rural populace is critical to India achieving its stated objective of inclusive growth. It is widely accepted that access to a reliable and sufficient power supply is a key enabler of rural economic growth. Traditionally, India's rural power supply has been restricted by having feeders to villages serve both agriculture and household loads. Because agriculture power supply is rationed by the distribution utilities, residential consumers often suffer from inadequate service. The study findings reveal that segregated systems can be used to manage peak demand, identify and reduce losses previously hidden in agricultural consumption, improve power supply to rural domestic consumers, and bolster socioeconomic development. Enabling the segregated system with information technology (IT) can further improve monitoring and control and bring about transparency and efficiency: Agricultural consumption on which the subsidy is based can be exactly determined, even without consumer metering, and data collected from the system can be used for strategic decision making and operational improvement.
Power for All : Electricity Access Challenge in India(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Barnes, Douglas ; Singh, Bipul ; Mayer, Kristy ; Samad, HussainIndia has led the developing world in addressing rural energy problems. By late 2012, the national electricity grid had reached 92 percent of India s rural villages, about 880 million people. In more remote areas and those with geographically difficult terrain, where grid extension is not economically viable, off-grid solutions using renewable-energy sources for electricity generation and distribution have been promoted. The positive results of the country s rural energy policies and institutions have contributed greatly to reducing the number of people globally who remain without electricity access. Yet, owing mainly to its large population, India has by far the world s largest number of households without electricity. More than one-quarter of its population or about 311 million people, the vast majority of whom live in poorer rural areas, still lack an electricity connection; less than half of all households in the poorest income group have electricity. Among households with electricity service, hundreds of millions lack reliable power supply.
Beyond Crisis : The Financial Performance of India's Power Sector(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Khurana, Mani ; Banerjee, Sudeshna GhoshAt the end of 2011, the Indian power sector found itself in financial crisis, just a decade after the 2001 bailout of state electricity boards (SEBs) by the central government. Bankrupt state power distribution utilities in several states were unable to pay their bills or repay their debts. Despite the passage of the landmark 2003 Electricity Act and implementation of a broad set of reforms over the past decade, the sector today is looking at another rescue from the center, four times larger than before. This financial rescue scheme amounts to about Rs 1.9 trillion ($42 billion) and was instigated by the nonperforming assets of the banks and other financial institutions. The Electricity Act was envisaged to create independent companies functioning on commercial principles, but they are still far away from that goal. This report presents a diagnostic of the financial and operational performance of segments in the power sector value chain between adoption of the Electricity Act, 2003, and 2011, including analysis of the factors that contributed to the recent crisis. The report focuses on efficiency and productivity, whether performance has improved over time, and which states have emerged as performance leaders. Analysis of this kind is not new or unique, but this report aims to integrate historical performance, the current situation, future projections of the impact of worsening sector finances, and the actions that need to be taken to check the downturn. The report draws primarily from utility data collected by the Power Finance Corporation in successive years on utilities operational and financial performance. The Power Finance Corporation data were collated into a single database with the addition of various operational parameters at the plant level and the utility level from the Central Electricity Authority.
Power and People : The Benefits of Renewable Energy in Nepal(World Bank, 2011) Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Singh, Avjeet ; Samad, HussainA large section of the Nepalese population is deprived of electricity coverage despite huge hydropower potential, particularly in rural areas. About 63 percent of Nepalese households lack access to electricity and depend on oil-based or renewable energy alternatives. The disparity in access is stark, with almost 90 percent of the urban population connected, but less than 30 percent of the rural population. Nepal has about 83,000 MW of economically exploitable resources, but only 650 MW have been developed so far. This study has been designated to organize an evaluation system that measures the impact of micro-hydro installations on rural livelihoods and to establish a monitoring system for Alternative Energy Promotion Center (APEC) to continually measure the results of the results of the renewable energy programs against the targets.
Cost Recovery, Equity, and Efficiency in Water Tariffs : Evidence from African Utilities( 2010-07-01) Banerjee, Sudeshna ; Foster, Vivien ; Ying, Yvonne ; Skilling, Heather ; Wodon, QuentinWater and sanitation utilities in Africa operate in a high-cost environment. They also have a mandate to at least partially recover their costs of operations and maintenance (O&M). As a result, water tariffs are higher than in other regions of the world. The increasing block tariff (IBT) is the most common tariff structure in Africa. Most African utilities are able to achieve O&M cost recovery at the highest block tariffs, but not at the first-block tariffs, which are designed to provide affordable water to low-volume consumers, who are often poor. At the same time, few utilities can recover even a small part of their capital costs, even in the highest tariff blocks. Unfortunately, the equity objectives of the IBT structure are not met in many countries. The subsidy to the lowest tariff-block does not benefit the poor exclusively, and the minimum consumption charge is often burdensome for the poorest customers. Many poor households cannot even afford a connection to the piped water network. This can be a significant barrier to expansion for utilities. Therefore, many countries have begun to subsidize household connections. For many households, standposts managed by utilities, donors, or private operators have emerged as an alternative to piped water. Those managed by utilities or that supply utility water are expected to use the formal utility tariffs, which are kept low to make water affordable for low-income households. The price for water that is resold through informal channels, however, is much more expensive than piped water.
People and Power : Electricity Sector Reforms and the Poor in Europe and Central Asia(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Lampietti, Julian A. ; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Branczik, AmeliaEmpirical insights on household behavior and electricity consumption patterns in this book reveal that, in Europe and Central Asia, the erosion of tariff based subsidies has disproportionately affected the poor, while direct transfers through social benefit systems have often been inadequately targeted. The book suggests alternative strategies for achieving cost-recovery in the electricity sector in a socially and politically acceptable manner, providing lessons that are equally relevant for other utilities and regions.