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Rural electrification and development in South Korea Paper by Terry van Gevelt

last modified Oct 17, 2014 10:37 PM

Rural electrification and development in South Korea (1965 - 1979) in Energy for Sustainable Development


In fifteen years, South Korea went from providing only 12% of rural households with electricity to providing 98% of rural households with electricity for lighting and productive uses. This paper provides an analysis of rural electrification and development in South Korea from 1965 to 1979 and finds that rural electrification contributed to a significant increase in rural household income levels and improved the quality of life in villages substantially. At the same time, rural electrification did not benefit the poorest quartile of rural households, increased economic and social inequality, led to a significant increase in household debt, and accelerated migration to urban areas. Central to the South Korean electrification experience was a top-down and a bottom-up approach that balanced local control and participation with central government control. This approach was crucial in overcoming many of the issues that continue to be found today in both grid-based and off-grid approaches to electrification.

We are delighted and proud to see that the Centre has gone from no.8 (2015) to no.6 (2016) to no.4 (2017) in the field of Development Studies in the QS Survey. This would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work from everyone within the Centre.

Message from the director: You will be pleased to know that we have moved up from 8 in 2015 to 6 this year in the QS world ranking for Development Studies. This is a remarkable result and a great tribute to the tremendous efforts of the whole team of teachers and administrators. It's a fantastic result! Professor Peter Nolan

Congratulations to PhD student Nungari Mwangi who was awarded the 2016 Andrew E Rice Award from the Society for International development!

Dr Fennell high level facilitator at WSIS 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr Fennell has been appointed as High Level Track Facilitator at the World Summit on the Information Society Forum.