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Banerjee, Sudeshna

Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
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 - 9 of 9
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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Access, Affordability, and Alternatives : Modern Infrastructure Services in Africa

2008-02, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Wodon, Quentin, Uddin, Helal, Tsimpo, Clarence, Foster, Vivien

Africa lags well behind other developing regions in infrastructure access. The limited gains of the 1990s have not increased much in the 2000s. There is clear evidence that many countries are failing to expand services fast enough to keep ahead of rapid demographic growth and even faster urbanization. As a result, if present trends continue, Africa is likely to lag even further behind other developing regions, and universal access will be more than 50 years away in many countries. However, there is variation in performance across countries, even within the low and middle income brackets. A significant number of countries have succeeded in increasing the number of people who have access to water, electricity, and sanitation, by an annual average of 5-10 percent. Further investigation is warranted to explain what determines the superior performance of these countries.

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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.

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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.

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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.