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Article by Dr Terry van Gewelt, Dr Tayyab Safdar et al in Energy for Sustainable Development

last modified Jun 13, 2016 12:08 PM

Dr Terry van Gevelt, Dr Tayyab Safdar and colleagues have published a study on 'energy poverty' in rural Rwanda in the journal Energy for Sustainable Development.

Dr van Gewelt et al. used primary data collected from 163 households in an off-grid Rwandan village to provide insights into energy poverty at the household-level. Informed by the rural livelihoods literature, they constructed a novel asset- and income-based index to disaggregate their results by socio-economic status. They also employed microeconometric techniques to investigate the determinants of household willingness-to-pay for electricity. Dr van Gewelt et al. found statistically significant differences between households of different socio-economic status for expenditure on lighting and other electricity services, willingness-to-pay for electricity, income-generating activities and food security. Overall, their findings suggest that initiatives aiming to end energy poverty and catalyze rural development should: (1) recognize the different potential impacts of policies on households of different socio-economic status; (2) be sensitive to energy stacking behavior; (3) take a holistic approach to rural development; (4) and ensure that households are able to access modern energy through flexible payment schemes and equitable and sustained improvements in income.


van Gevelt, T. et al. (2016). "Insights from an energy poor Rwandan village." Energy for Sustainable Development 32: 121-129.

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