Are We Looking for the Benefits of Rural Electrification in the Wrong Places?

People talk a lot about the potential benefits of bringing electricity to some of the billion homes in the world that do not currently have it. Here are the most common arguments: kids can study more at night (lighting), new appliances will be time-saving (refrigerators or washing machines), people will be more informed about the outside world (TVs).

But, I suspect we’re thinking about how the US and Western Europe use electricity, and we’re imagining what it would be like to live in our own worlds without those amenities. I’m guessing that we’re extrapolating the aspects of electrification that we would have the hardest time living without to subsistence farmers in rural Africa or rural India, where the majority of the unelectrified currently live.

Read full article: Energy Institute at Haas



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