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Title: A bottom-up model of electricity reform for developing countries : a case study of Gujarat, India
Author: Hansen, Christopher Joshi
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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In many developing countries, the electricity system is too weak to meet growing demand and the availability and reliability of generating capacity is inadequate. Protracted mismanagement, political interference, subsidised pricing, and corruption all undermine the ability of developing electricity supply industries to finance and deliver service or attract new private investment. Power sector reform is an acute need in developing countries where implementation of a top-down liberalisation approach has been pursued without adequately considering the social, political and economic conditions. The conventional response to low levels of electricity sector investment has been from the top-down: aim to create competitive electricity markets by encouraging new entry into the generation sector and by breaking up vertically integrated power companies. Using a case study from Gujarat, India, this thesis argues for an alternative approach—utilise distributed generation (DG) and captive power capacity (self-generation) of industry to reshape the generation and distribution sectors from the bottom-up. The thesis examines the economic viability of distributed generation in a rural setting and captive power for industrial use in Gujarat, India, taking into account the economic, technical and political factors that shape investment decisions. In India, 40 percent of the population still does not have an electricity connection, but an array of new energy technologies for small-scale electricity generation near the site of use may provide a new development path. The bottom-up model enables rapid addition of generation capacity to a system struggling to meet demand while increasing competition in the power market. The thesis concludes that more power from independent and industrial sources will best harness the financial and engineer resources of the Indian electricity supply industry (ESI) and ultimately benefit the economy. The solution proposed is not suggested as an optimal policy programme, but instead is advanced as the best of the feasible options available within current political and economic constraints.
Supervisor: Bower, John ; Clark, Gordon Sponsor: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Asia ; Political economy of markets and states ; Development economics ; Microeconomics ; Electricity reform ; distributed generation ; Gujarat ; India