chapter  9
New Approaches in the 21st Century
WithDouglas F. Barnes
Pages 15

The call by the United Nations and other international donors for Sustainable Energy for All is a welcome initiative befitting the 21st century. A variety of organizations, including retailers, sold small home-energy devices that ranged from household systems to single lights. Thus, the means of selling electricity evolved from a heavy emphasis on central planning to more decentralized approaches, but the majority of new connections continued to be supplied through grid electricity systems. The positive outcome of decentralized electricity for education confirms the importance of even quite low levels of electricity for improving children's education. Depending on the local circumstances, income, education and rural productivity all improve when a community gains access to electricity. The use of consumer surplus, along with any anticipated productivity increases, can generally be used in most project appraisals, but it is important to avoid double-counting benefits. In addition, better-off households were able to purchase time-saving appliances and machinery, increasing their productivity.