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Banerjee, Sudeshna

Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Infrastructure economics; energy access; monitoring and evaluation
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Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
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 - 7 of 7
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Publication

Double Dividend: Power and Agriculture Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa

2017, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Tipping, Andrew, Besnard, Juliette, Nash, John

Increasing 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.

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Charting the Diffusion of Power Sector Reforms across the Developing World

2017-11, Foster, Vivien, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh

Some 25 years have elapsed since international financial institutions espoused a package of power sector reform measures that became known as the Washington Consensus. This package encompassed the establishment of autonomous regulatory entities, the vertical and horizontal unbundling of integrated national monopoly utilities, private sector participation in generation and distribution, and eventually the introduction of competition into power generation and even retail services. Exploiting a unique new data set on the timing and scope of power sector reforms adopted by 88 countries across the developing world over 25 years, this paper seeks to improve understanding of the uptake, diffusion, packaging, and sequencing of power sector reforms, and the extent to which they were affected by the economic and political characteristics of the countries concerned. The analysis focuses on describing the patterns of reform without judging their desirability or evaluating their impact. The paper finds that following rapid diffusion during 1995-2005, the spread of power sector reforms slowed significantly in 2005-15. Only a small minority of developing countries fully implemented the reform model as originally conceived. For the majority, reforms were only selectively adopted according to ease of implementation, often stagnated at an intermediate stage, and were sometimes packaged and sequenced in ways unrelated to the original logic. Country characteristics such as geography, income group, power system size, and political economy all had a significant influence on the uptake of reform. Moreover, a significant number of countries experienced reversals of private sector participation, or were unable to follow through with reform plans that were officially announced. Overall, power sector reform in the developing world lags far behind what was achieved in the developed world during the same time period. Yet, even in the developed world, the full package of reforms does not seem to have been universally adopted.

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Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy: A Global Scorecard for Policy Makers

2017-01, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Sinton, Jonathan, Primiani, Tanya, Seong, Joonkyung

Energy is at the forefront of the development agenda. Recognizing energy's vital role in development and prosperity, the world has committed to Sustainable Development Goal 7 to "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all" as one of 17 goals for 2030, as well as to dramatically increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. The historic climate change agreement in Paris in 2015 also draws attention to the essential scale-up of clean energy to attain a 2 degrees C world, with energy featuring prominently in many countries' Nationally Determined Contributions. Achieving these global energy goals calls for more than a trillion dollars of investment annually. Reaching the 2030 targets set by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) - universal access to electricity and clean cooking fuels, doubling the rate of improvement of energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy - requires an unprecedented scale-up of both public and private finance. Investment in sustainable energy is affected by many factors, including market size, country risk, and financial markets, to name but a few. But a country's policies and regulations also matter, and they are directly under the control of government. This report—based on a new and comprehensive global policy scorecard called Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) - answers two important questions. Are policymakers around the world truly rising to the challenge posed by the new global sustainable energy agenda? Where is further action most critically needed?

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Beyond Crisis : The Financial Performance of India's Power Sector

2015, Khurana, Mani, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh

At 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.

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Power for All : Electricity Access Challenge in India

2015, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Singh, Bipul, Mayer, Kristy, Samad, Hussain

India 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.

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The Power of the Mine : A Transformative Opportunity for Sub-Saharan Africa

2015-02-05, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Romo, Zayra, McMahon, Gary, Toledano, Perrine, Pérez Arroyo, Inés

Africa needs power - to grow its economies and enhance the welfare of its people. Power for all is still a long distance away - two thirds of the population remains without electricity and enterprises rank electricity as a top constraint to doing business. This sub-optimal situation coexists while vast energy resources remain untapped. One solution to harness these resources could be to tap into the concept of anchor load. Mining industry lends itself to the concept of anchor load as it needs power in large quantity and reliable quality to run its processes. Underpinned by a comprehensive database of mining projects between 2000 and 2020, this report explores the potential and challenges of using mining demand for power as anchor load for national power system development and expansion of electrification. This report finds that mining demand can indeed be a game-changer - an opportunity where policymakers and international community can make a difference in tapping the enormous mineral wealth of Africa for the benefit of so many people. The utilities would benefit from having mining companies as creditworthy consumers that facilitate generation and transmission investments producing economies of scale needed for large infrastructure projects, benefiting all consumers in the system. The mines would benefit from grid supply - typically priced much lower than self-supply - which allows them to focus on their core business, greatly enhancing their competitiveness. The country would benefit from more exports and tax revenues from mines, more job opportunities in local firms selling goods and services to the mines, and a higher GDP. The report estimates that mining demand for power can triple since 2000 going upto 23 GW in 2030. While South Africa will continue to be the dominant presence in mining landscape, its importance will reduce and other countries, primarily in Southern African region, will emerge as important contributers of mining demand for power. Simulations in countries with minimal power-mining interface suggests that bringing this demand explicitly into the power planning process can ensure more investments in both grid and off-grid power systems and potentially superior service delivery outcomes for mines as well as communities. These opportunities can also be attractive investment destinations for private sector. However, there are also risks and institutional roadblocks in power-mining integration - addressing many of them and employing risk mitigation mechanism are within the control of policymakers.

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Cost Recovery and Financial Viability of the Power Sector in Developing Countries: A Literature Review

2017-12, Huenteler, Joern, Dobozi, Istvan, Balabanyan, Ani, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh

The financial viability of the power sector is a prerequisite for attracting the investment needed to ensure reliable energy supply, meet universal access targets, and hasten the clean energy transition. Adequate pricing of electricity to allow for cost recovery is also important to minimize the power sector’s negative macroeconomic, fiscal, environmental, and social impacts. This paper takes stock of the empirical and conceptual literature on the financial viability and cost recovery of the power sector in developing countries. Time-series data across countries are relatively scarce, but comparing the findings from 21 studies suggests that under-recovery of costs remains pervasive despite decades of efforts by governments and development institutions. Large electricity subsidies continue to burden governments, especially in the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Reviews by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on outcomes of their own engagement also conclude that progress on cost recovery in supported countries has been limited. Although the aggregated view obscures fluctuation within individual countries over time, the available evidence suggests that countries progressing toward cost recovery may find themselves backsliding within a few years. As for understanding the circumstances under which progress can be made, a handful of studies point toward a correlation between sector reforms and cost recovery, although few of the studies address obvious endogeneity problems. To provide more solid guidance for future efforts to improve cost recovery, more research is needed on: (i) the determinants and enabling conditions of progress on cost recovery; (ii) tariff reform sequencing; and (iii) institutional arrangements, policies, and regulations that enable countries to sustain cost recovery once it is reached.