Asia and Pacific

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Jaden Kim and Mr. Adil Mohommad
This brief paper accompanies the Green Energy and Jobs tool, which is a simple excel-based tool to estimate the job-creation potential of greening the electricity sector. Specifically, it calculates the net job gains or losses from increasing the level of energy efficiency, and from increasing the share of clean and renewable electricity generation in the total electricity output mix. The tool relies on estimates of job multipliers in the literature, and adds evidence from firm-level data on the job-intensity of different energy sources. The paper illustrates applications of the tool using data from the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario compared to business-as-usual. This tool is intended to help country teams engage further on climate change issues in bilateral surveillance.
Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Ms. Tewodaj Mogues, Marian Moszoro, and Mauricio Soto
South Asia has experienced significant progress in improving human and physical capital over the past few decades. Within the region, India has become a global economic powerhouse with enormous development potential ahead. To foster human and economic development, India has shown a strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda. This paper focuses on the medium-term development challenges that South Asia, and in particular India, faces to ensure substantial progress along the SDGs by 2030. We estimate the additional spending needed in critical areas of human capital (health and education) and physical capital (water and sanitation, electricity, and roads). We document progress on these five sectors for India relative to other South Asian countries and discuss implications for policy and reform.
Johannes Eugster
This paper studies the effect of climate change mitigating policies on innovation in clean energy technologies. Results suggest that the tightening of environmental policies since the early 1990s have made a statistically and economically significant contribution to the increase in clean innovation. These effects generally materialized quickly, within 2 to 3 years of the policy change, and were driven by individually significant marginal effects of both market-based policies – such as feed-in tariffs and trading schemes – as well as non-market policies, such as R&D subsidies or emission limits. Looking at electricity innovation in particular, the paper finds that the estimated effect on total innovation is positive on net, meaning that increased innovation in clean and grey technologies is not offset by a decrease in innovation in dirty technologies. From a policy point of view, the paper’s results call for strong policy efforts to decisively shift innovation towards clean technologies.
Ding Ding, Fabio Di Vittorio, Ana Lariau, and Yue Zhou
Over the last decade China’s investment in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has increased substantially in volume and become more diversified from natural resources to other industries. Using cross-border mergers and acquisitions data, we demonstrate that since mid-2010s China’s overseas investment has tilted toward sectors where China has a comparative advantage in the global markets, a trend similar to that of other major foreign direct investment (FDI) source countries. Moreover, China’s rising overseas investment can be linked to the rebalancing of Chinese economy, and LAC stands to benefit from its complementarity vis-à-vis China in sectors where the rising Chinese overseas investment can be met with LAC’s own investment gaps. The COVID-19 pandemic could have a long-lasting impact on global value chains and FDI flows, which poses both challenges and opportunities to LAC in attracting FDI, including from China, to support the region’s long-run economic development.
Jiaxiong Yao
Past studies on the relationship between electricity consumption and temperature have primarily focused on individual countries. Many regions are understudied as a result of data constraint. This paper studies the relationship on a global scale, overcoming the data constraint by using grid-level night light and temperature data. Mostly generated by electricity and recorded by satellites, night light has a strong linear relationship with electricity consumption and is correlated with both its extensive and intensive margins. Using night light as a proxy for electricity consumption at the grid level, we find: (1) there is a U-shaped relationship between electricity consumption and temperature; (2) the critical point of temperature for minimum electricity consumption is around 14.6°C for the world and it is higher in urban and more industrial areas; and (3) the impact of temperature on electricity consumption is persistent. Sub-Saharan African countries, while facing a large electricity deficit already, are particularly vulnerable to climate change: a 1°C increase in temperature is estimated to increase their electricity demand by 6.7% on average.
Ms. Anja Baum
Despite starting as one of the poorest countries in the mid-1980s, Vietnam has achieved rapid developmental progress, reaching lower middle-income status in 2010. In line with rapid economic growth, Vietnam has achieved impressive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during this time. This paper sheds light on some elements of Vietnam’s success story, highlighting crucial policies in education and electricity sectors. It undertakes a forward-looking costing exercise that focusses on five sectors – education, health, roads, water, and electricity infrastructure. Achieving the remaining SDGs in Vietnam will be a challenge, with total annual additional spending needs in the 5 subsectors estimated at 7 percent of GDP by 2030.
Vitor Gaspar, Mr. David Amaglobeli, Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Delphine Prady, and Mauricio Soto
The goal of this paper is to estimate the additional annual spending required for meaningful progress on the SDGs in these areas. Our estimates refer to additional spending in 2030, relative to a baseline of current spending to GDP in these sectors. Toward this end, we apply an innovative costing methodology to a sample of 155 countries: 49 low- income developing countries, 72 emerging market economies, and 34 advanced economies. And we refine the analysis with five country studies: Rwanda, Benin, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Guatemala.
Daniel Gurara and Dawit Tessema
Many developing economies are often hit by electricity crises either because of supply constraints or lacking in broader energy market reforms. This study uses manufacturing firm census data from Ethiopia to identify productivity losses attributable to power disruptions. Our estimates show that these disruptions, on average, result in productivity losses of about 4–10 percent. We found nonlinear productivity losses at different quantiles along the productivity distribution. Firms at higher quantiles faced higher losses compared to firms around the median. We observed patterns of systematic shutdowns as firms attempt to minimize losses.