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 - 10 of 25
Publication(World Bank, 2011-03-09) Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Morella, Elvira ; Foster, Vivien ; Briceño-Garmendia, CeciliaThe 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(World Bank, 2011) Sargsyan, Gevorg ; Bhatia, Mikul ; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Raghunathan, Krishnan ; Soni, RuchiIndia 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017) Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Malik, Kabir ; Tipping, Andrew ; Besnard, Juliette ; Nash, JohnIncreasing access to modern electricity services in Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the main development challenges facing the world over the next two decades. The rural economies are overwhelmingly dependent on agriculture; in fact, agriculture and agribusiness comprise nearly half of Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). These enterprises require electricity to grow to their potential, while the expansion of rural energy services needs consumers with consistent power needs to serve as a reliable revenue source. Can agriculture and energy come together in Sub-Saharan Africa to offer a double dividend with benefits to enterprises, households, utilities, and private-sector service providers? This is the central question of this study. Combining agricultural load with other household and commercial power demand can increase the feasibility of extending the grid or creating opportunities for independent power producers and mini-grid operators. Drawing on a suite of case studies, this study offers insights on what it will take to operationalize the opportunities and address the challenges for power-agriculture integration in Africa.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2008) Hamilton, Ellen ; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Lomaia, MakaSince the early 1990s, the Russian government has undertaken a series of reforms intended to change the system from one where housing and communal services (HCSs) were nearly free to one where residents paid the costs of their housing while protecting vulnerable families. Although households payments have increased, subsidies for HCSs remain substantial (about 4 per cent of GDP) and are exceeded only by public spending for pensions. This paper uses newly available data to analyse recipients of the two major housing subsidy programs. We find that neither l'goti (which are not targeted) nor allowances (which are supposed to be targeted) have provided much protection for poorer households from tariff increases.
Publication( 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.
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 ; Diallo, Amadou Bassirou ; Foster, VivienA 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( 2009-03-01) Banerjee, Sudeshna ; Diallo, Amadou ; Foster, Vivien ; Wodon, QuentinHousehold surveys have long been used to estimate poverty and inequality trends, as well as trends in education and health indicators, but they have not been used to the same extent to assess trends in the access to or coverage of modern infrastructure services. In this paper, we use Demographic and Health Surveys from a larger sample of sub-Saharan African countries in order to collect comparable information across countries on coverage of piped water, flush toilets, electricity, and landline telephones over time. The results suggest that coverage rates for electricity, flush toilets have improved slightly over the last decade. Coverage of piped water has declined, at the same time as coverage of landline (as well as cellular) telephone has increased rapidly. The decline has been primarily in the urban areas while the infrastructure coverage has either increased or remained stable in rural Africa. For all four services, among the poorest households coverage remains virtually inexistent. If business as usual continues, it would take a very long time to reach universal or widely shared coverage even in countries where coverage has improved. These results point to the need to increase efforts by governments and international community to progressively increase access to modern infrastructure services in Africa.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-02) Lall, Somik V. ; Ghosh, SudeshnaThe authors analyze the determinants of firm productivity in a group of Mexican firms. In particular, they test the contribution of external factors such as trade and knowledge diffusion, the availability of infrastructure, informal knowledge exchange, competitive environment, and business regulatory climate. The authors find that one factor consistently emerges as an important proximate source of productivity-access to informal networks. Interaction in the form of "business lunches" with local buyers and suppliers, competitors, government officials, and other professionals have a significant and positive effect on a firm's productivity. Access to regulators and agents of backward and forward linkages are important in settings where information on business practices and regulations is not publicly disclosed. The results complement predictions of traditional growth theory-in addition to technology and learning being the driving force of firm productivity, proximity to influential individuals who can grant favors or provide information advantage on business and trade practices have significant productivity impacts.
Publication(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.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Mayer, Kristy ; Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh ; Trimble, ChrisIndia - home to one of the world's largest populations without electricity access - has set the ambitious goal of achieving universal electrification by 2017. 311 million people, a quarter of its population, remains without power, despite substantial efforts to increased affordable access for the poor. This study focuses on India's residential electricity subsidies, as viewed through a poverty lens. Addressing these issues is especially urgent since the residential electricity sector accounts for nearly a quarter of India's total electricity consumption. Comparison of two survey rounds (2004/05 and 2009/10) was used to assess changes in electricity consumption over time. The study approach analyzed subsidy distribution by both below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line (APL) grouping, as well as income quintile, to allow for the wide variation in poverty rates states. The key findings in this study are that 87 percent of subsidy payments go to APL households instead of to the poor, and over half of subsidy payments are directed to the richest two-fifths of households. Furthermore, these estimates are conservative because they assume that BPL and APL households are accurately identified. Because APL households tend to consume more electricity, subsidies are skewed toward the upper quintiles. The major driver of these outcomes is tariff design. Few states have highly concessional BPL tariffs; in most, all households are eligible for a subsidy on at least a portion of their monthly electricity consumption. Combined with the fact that the poorest households consume relatively small amounts of electricity means that wealthier consumers with electricity access are typically eligible for just as much, if not more, subsidy as poorer ones. India's states have a variety of available options for improving their subsidy performance. Certain states model good practices that other states could consider adopting, for example, Punjab, Sikkim, Chattisgarh, and others. States may consider four model tariff structures that meet the twin, medium-term policy goals of high subsidy targeting and low cost. These are (i) creating BPL tariff schedules and eliminating subsidies from other schedules, (ii) delivering subsidies through cash transfers instead of tariffs, (iii) creating a volume differentiated tariff (VDT), and (iv) creating a lifeline tariff and removing subsidies from other tariffs.