Electric Utility Planning in Developing Countries: A Review of Issues and Analytical Methods

Authors

  • P. MEIER,

    1. IDEA, Inc., 1025 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
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      Dr Meieris Senior Technical Advisor to IDEA, and Chairman of the Energy Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

  • R. CHATTERJEE

    1. IDEA, Inc., 1025 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
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      Dr Chatterjeeis President of IDEA Inc., a consulting firm which specializes in energy issues affecting the developing countries.


Abstract

Electric utilities in many developing countries are faced with a panoply of major problems. Often operating at low reliability, in severe financial difficulty due to inadequate tariffs, and under pressure to expand the network to rural areas at the same time that they are under pressure to reduce capital outlays because of demands to reduce public-sector spending and concerns over the ability to service foreign debt. Traditional approaches to electric utility planning have become inadequate in this new financial climate. In this paper we explore the institutional, economic, manpower and financial dimensions of the present crisis, and examine their implications for national governments, donor agencies and international financial institutions. We emphasize the need for a more balanced approach to planning models, for improved procedures to deal with uncertainties and for a more imaginative approach to non-traditional solutions.

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