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The Evidence of Benefits for Poor People of Increased Renewable Electricity Capacity: Literature Review

Lack of access to electricity is seen as a major constraint to economic growth and increased welfare in developing countries. In this report, the authors conducted a review of the evidence that investments in electricity-generating capacity have benefits for poor people, and what factors influence that relationship.

The review analyzes a large and diverse range of literature dealing with the poverty impacts of increased generation capacity. It begins by explaining a theory to break down the causal chain between additional renewable electricity generation capacity and poverty impacts in four stages or links. Thesea are formulated as four research questions:

  1. What is the link between increased renewable electricity capacity and higher availability and reliability of supply?
  2. What is the link between increased availability and reliability of electricity and actual connection and use by the poor?
  3. What is the link between electricity consumption and poverty impacts?
  4. What is the link between electricity consumption and economic growth at the macro level?