Person: Banerjee, Sudeshna
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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.
Africa's Water and Sanitation Infrastructure : Access, Affordability, and Alternatives
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.
Lighting Rural India : Load Segregation Eexperience in Selected States
2014-02, Khanna, Ashish, Mukherjee, Mohua, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Saraswat, Kavita, Khurana, Mani
Socioeconomic 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.
Measuring the Results of World Bank Lending in the Energy Sector
2014-02-27, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Portale, Elisa
This note is the first report of energy-sector results indicators reflecting the World Bank's broad lending patterns during FY2000-13. To compile it, energy projects back to FY2000 were manually screened for results data comparable with the standardized indicators now used in the Bank's corporate scorecard. In the future, automation will make it easier to collect, aggregate, and analyze data on project outcomes.
Unleashing the Potential of Renewable Energy in India
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.
Tracking Access to Nonsolid Fuel for Cooking
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).
Elite Capture : Residential Tariff Subsidies in India
2015, Mayer, Kristy, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh
India - 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.
Tracking Access to Electricity
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.
More Power to India : The Challenge of Electricity Distribution
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.
Provision of Water to the Poor in Africa : Experience with Water Standposts and the Informal Water Sector
2010-07-01, Keener, Sarah, Luengo, Manuel, Banerjee, Sudeshna
Standpipes that dispense water from utilities are the most common alternatives to piped water connections for poor customers in the cities of Sub-Saharan Africa. Fifty-five percent of the unconnected urban population relies on standpipes as their first water source. Other informal water providers include household resellers and a variety of water tankers and vendors, which are the first water source of 1 percent and 3 percent of the urban population, respectively. In the cities studied, the percentage of unconnected households ranges from 12 percent to 86 percent of the population. The percentage of unconnected people covered by standpipes is substantially higher for countries with higher rates of household connection, while the percentage of unconnected people covered by water tankers or water vendors is higher for countries with lower rates of household connection. Water prices in the informal market are much higher than for households with private connections or yard taps. Although standpipes are heavily subsidized by utilities, the prices charged by standpipe operators are closely related to the informal water reseller price. Standpipe management models also affect the informal price of water. For example, the shift from utilities management to delegated management models without complementary regulation or consumer information has often led to declines in service levels and increased prices. Standpipes are not the only or even the most efficient solution in peri-urban areas. Programs that promote private household connections and arrangements that improve pricing and services in the household resale market should also be considered by policy makers.