Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap
When and How Governments Power the Lives of the Poor
The first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty, arguing that governments can improve energy access for their citizens through appropriate policy design.
In today's industrialized world, almost everything we do consumes energy. While industrialized countries enjoy all the amenities of modern energy, more than a billion people in the developing world still lack energy access. Why is energy poverty persistent in some countries and not in others? Offering the first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty, Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap explores why governments have or have not been able to lead in providing modern energy to their least advantaged citizens.
Focusing on access to modern cooking fuels and household electrification, the authors develop a new political-economic theory that introduces government interest, institutional capacity, and local accountability as key determinants of energy access. They draw on case studies from India, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America to offer the optimistic conclusion that governments can improve institutional capacity and local accountability through appropriate policy design. Energy poverty is a policy problem, the authors assert, and engaging with it as such offers new opportunities not only for ensuring equal energy access, but also for political, economic, and environmental development.
Hardcover$90.00 X | £70.00 ISBN: 9780262038799 328 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 10 b&w illus.
Paperback$35.00 S | £27.00 ISBN: 9780262535861 328 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 10 b&w illus.
Energy poverty is a persistent but largely invisible affliction affecting the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of women and children. This book does it all, elegantly describing the problem, presenting cases of success and failure, and critically distilling lessons for development practitioners and scholars. It offers the type of fresh thinking and innovative solutions so rarely seen, but oh-so-urgently needed.
Benjamin K. Sovacool
Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex; coauthor of Climate Change and Global Energy Security and Global Energy Justice; coeditor of Energy Poverty
Global energy poverty is more than just a technical and economic challenge. The authors provide a much-needed political economy perspective in this book and rightly emphasize the important role that the state plays in any solution to this problem.
Associate Professor, University of British Columbia; author of Rural Electrification: Strategies for Distributed Generation
In 2018 just under a billion people lack access to sustainable energy. Another two billion lack access to reliable energy. Reliable, affordable, and clean energy is essential for sustainable development; that so many live without it constrains progress. Policy matters as never before. With this book, the authors show a pathway to results.
Chief Executive Officer and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SEforALL)