This report provides the results of a review of the evidence that investments in electricity-generating capacity have benefits for poor people, and what factors influence that relationship. The review begins by elucidating a theory to break down the causal chain between additional renewable electricity generation capacity and poverty impacts in four stages or links, which can be 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? and (4) What is the link between electricity consumption and economic growth at the macro level?
Institute of Development Studies
19 September 2013