The welfare impact of rural electrification: a reassessment of the costs and benefits
Rural electrification can have many benefits-not only bringing lighting, but improving the quality of health care, spreading information and supporting productive enterprises. The extent of these benefits has been questioned, arguing that they may be insufficient to justify the investment costs. This report quantifies these benefits. It finds that the benefits can indeed be high, substantially outweighing the costs, and that consumer willingness to pay is generally sufficient to achieve financial sustainability. However, benefits could be increased further by providing smart subsidies to assist connections for poorer households, promote productive uses and further consumer education.