Trials and Tribulations: Lost Energy Access Gains in Rural India
Energy for Sustainable Development, Forthcoming
50 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 10, 2020
Rural electrification has advanced rapidly in many developing countries. Under conditions of poverty and weak infrastructure, however, households face a risk of backsliding. Here we use two rounds from the ACCESS survey of rural households in six northern Indian states to explore factors that drive losses in household electricity access. About 7% of households with electricity in 2015 lost it by 2018. We identify household wealth and off-grid access as major drivers of lost energy access. A standard deviation's increase in a household's wealth index reduces the likelihood of disconnection by 1.5 percentage points. Off-grid households are 8 percentage points more likely to lose access than grid-connected households. These findings underscore the importance of defending realized gains in countries where household electrification is driven by policy while rural poverty remains prevalent.
Keywords: electricity access, reversals, grid electricity, off-grid electricity
JEL Classification: Q4
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