Banerjee, Sudeshna

Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Infrastructure economics; energy access; monitoring and evaluation
Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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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.
Citations 8 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 28
  • Publication
    Cost Recovery, Equity, and Efficiency in Water Tariffs : Evidence from African Utilities
    (2010-07-01) Banerjee, Sudeshna; Foster, Vivien; Wodon, Quentin
    Water 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.
  • Publication
    Africa - Ebbing Water, Surging Deficits : Urban Water Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-06) Banerjee, Sudeshna; Foster, Vivien; Morella, Elvira
    With only 56 percent of the population enjoying access to safe water, Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other regions in terms of access to improved water sources. Based on present trends, it appears that the region is unlikely to meet the target of 75 percent access to improved water by 2015, as specified in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The welfare implications of safe water cannot be overstated. The estimated health and time-saving benefits of meeting the MDG goal are about 11 times as high as the associated costs. Monitoring the progress of infrastructure sectors such as water supply has been a significant by-product of the MDG, and serious attention and funding have been devoted in recent years to developing systems for monitoring and evaluating in developing countries. Piped water reaches more urban Africans than any other form of water supply-but not as large a share as it did in the early 1990s. The most recent available data for 32 countries suggests that some 39 percent of the urban population of Sub-Saharan Africa is connected to a piped network, compared with 50 percent in the early 1990s. Analysis suggests that the majority of those who lack access to utility water live too far away from the distribution network, although some fail to connect even when they live close by. Water-sector institutions follow no consistent pattern in Sub-Saharan Africa. Where service is centralized, a significant minority has chosen to combine power and water services into a single national multi-utility urban water sector reforms were carried out in the 1990s, with the aim of creating commercially oriented utilities and bringing the sector under formal regulation. One goal of the reforms was to attract private participation in the sector.
  • Publication
    Measuring Trends in Access to Modern Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa : Results from Demographic and Health Surveys
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-10) Banerjee, Sudeshna; Wodon, Quentin
    A recent study for sub-Saharan Africa by Banerjee et al. (2007) uses Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from 22 countries that have conducted at least two such surveys between 1990 and 2005 in order to collect comparable information across countries on access to modern and alternative infrastructure services over time. In addition to national, urban, and rural trends in access, the study includes a distributional analysis of how access rates have evolved since 1990. That is, households are divided into five quintiles of population according to their level of wealth, with wealth defined using a principal components analysis. The objective of this note is to provide a summary of key findings from the study regarding access trends to electricity, piped water, flush toilets, and landline telephones over the period 1990-2005.
  • Publication
    Is Low Coverage of Modern Infrastructure Services in African Cities due to Lack of Demand or Lack of Supply?
    (2009-03-01) Wodon, Quentin; Banerjee, Sudeshna; Foster, Vivien
    A majority of sub-Saharan Africa s population is not connected to electricity and piped water networks, and even in urban areas coverage is low. Lack of network coverage may be due to demand or supply-side factors. Some households may live in areas where access to piped water and electricity is feasible, but may not be able to pay for those services. Other households may be able to afford the services, but may live too far from the electric line or water pipe to have a choice to be connected to it. Given that the policy options for dealing with demand as opposed to supply-side issues are fairly different, it is important to try to measure the contributions of both types of factors in preventing better coverage of infrastructure services in the population. This paper shows how this can be done empirically using household survey data and provides results on the magnitude of both types of factors in explaining the coverage deficit of piped water and electricity services in urban areas for a large sample of African countries.
  • Publication
    Unleashing the Potential of Renewable Energy in India
    (World Bank, 2011) Sargsyan, Gevorg; Bhatia, Mikul; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh; Raghunathan, Krishnan; Soni, Ruchi
    India has 150 GW of renewable energy potential, about half in the form of small hydropower, biomass, and wind and half in solar, cogeneration, and waste-to-energy. Developing renewable energy can help India increase its energy security, reduce the adverse impacts on the local environment, lower its carbon intensity, contribute to more balanced regional development, and realize its aspirations for leadership in high-technology industries. This diagnostic note draws on a detailed analysis conducted by a PricewaterhouseCoopers India consulting team in 2008-09 for the World Bank. The data are based on information on about 180 wind, biomass, and small hydropower projects in 20 states, as well as information from and norms of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). The study is intended to provoke discussions of the feasibility of renewable energy development in India. Why is renewable energy development relevant? How much development is economically feasible? What needs to be done to realize the potential? Each of these topics is addressed in a separate chapter, all of which suggest a few implementable measures that India can consider to tap its economically feasible unharnessed potential.
  • Publication
    Tracking Access to Electricity
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05-15) Ghosh Banerjee, Sudeshna
    Access to electricity in flexible, reliable, and sustainable forms brings a range of social and economic benefits, enabling people to leap from poverty to a better future, enhancing the quality of household life, and stimulating the broader economy. Modern energy is essential for the provision of health care; clean water and sanitation; and reliable and efficient lighting, heating, cooking, mechanical power, transportation, and telecommunications. To support the achievement of these goals, a starting point must be set, indicators developed, and a framework established to track those indicators until 2030. The World Bank and International Energy Agency have led a consortium of 15 international agencies to produce data on access to electricity for the SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework. Launched in 2013, the framework defines electricity access as the presence of an electricity connection in the household as typically reported through household surveys.
  • Publication
    Africa's Water and Sanitation Infrastructure : Access, Affordability, and Alternatives
    (World Bank, 2011-03-09) Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh; Morella, Elvira; Foster, Vivien; Briceño-Garmendia, Cecilia
    The Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) has produced continent-wide analysis of many aspects of Africa's infrastructure challenge. The main findings were synthesized in a flagship report titled Africa's Infrastructure: a time for transformation, published in November 2009. Meant for policy makers, that report necessarily focused on the high-level conclusions. It attracted widespread media coverage feeding directly into discussions at the 2009 African Union Commission Heads of State Summit on Infrastructure. Although the flagship report served a valuable role in highlighting the main findings of the project, it could not do full justice to the richness of the data collected and technical analysis undertaken. There was clearly a need to make this more detailed material available to a wider audience of infrastructure practitioners. Hence the idea of producing four technical monographs, such as this one, to provide detailed results on each of the major infrastructure sectors, information and communication technologies (ICT), power, transport, and water, as companions to the flagship report. These technical volumes are intended as reference books on each of the infrastructure sectors. They cover all aspects of the AICD project relevant to each sector, including sector performance, gaps in financing and efficiency, and estimates of the need for additional spending on investment, operations, and maintenance. Each volume also comes with a detailed data appendix, providing easy access to all the relevant infrastructure indicators at the country level, which is a resource in and of itself.
  • Publication
    Tracking Access to Nonsolid Fuel for Cooking
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05-15) Ghosh Banerjee, Sudeshna; Adair-Rohani, Heather; Bonjour, Sophie
    The World Health Organization estimates that in 2012 about 4.3 million deaths occurred because of exposure to household air pollution caused by smoke from the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, coal, and kerosene. Inefficient energy use in the home also poses substantial risks to safety, causing burns and injuries across the developing world. To support the achievement of these goals, a starting point must be set, indicators developed, and a framework established to track those indicators until 2030. The World Bank and International Energy Agency have led a consortium of 15 international agencies to produce data on access to nonsolid fuel for the SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework. Launched in 2013, the framework defines access to modern cooking solutions is as the use of nonsolid fuels for the primary method of cooking. Nonsolid fuels include (i) liquid fuels (for example, kerosene, ethanol, or other biofuels), (ii) gaseous fuels (such as natural gas, LPG, and biogas), and (iii) electricity. These are in contrast to solid fuels such as (i) traditional biomass (wood, charcoal, agricultural residues, and dung), (ii) processed biomass (pellets, briquettes); and (iii) other solid fuels (such as coal and lignite).
  • Publication
    Ghana : Poverty and Social Impact Analysis of Electricity Tariffs
    (2005-12-01) Keener, Sarah; Ghosh Banerjee, Sudeshna
    The World Bank's assistance was requested to conduct a Poverty and Social Impact Analysis assessing the direct and indirect impacts, as well as options for electricity pricing for the poor. Results of three different instruments (a small scale household survey focusing on consumer and social impact assessments of tariff changes, the analysis of a an existing nationally representative household survey and a stakeholder analysis) pointed to a rather high potential of the lifeline mechanism to protect the poor, but also showed that the knowledge of this subsidy and hence its coverage is much lower in rural areas. While the poor protecting mechanism seems quite effective, broader sector reforms threaten its sustainability (i.e., allowing larger customers to directly negotiate price conditions with the electricity company might increase the pressure on tariff adjustments for other customer groups, strain utility's finances and inhibit or slow connections of less profitable customers.
  • Publication
    More Power to India : The Challenge of Electricity Distribution
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-06-18) Pargal, Sheoli; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh
    This 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.