Mapping energy access : a regional energy planning framework for rural electrification in India

dc.contributor.advisorMoore, Steven A., 1945-en
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSletto, Bjorn Ien
dc.creatorSubramanya, Vivek Shastryen 2015en
dc.description.abstractDelivery of modern energy services continues to be a priority in the global development agenda. Despite technological advancements and political efforts, some countries have only achieved limited success in their electrification programs. I take the example of India, where two-thirds of the total population are in rural areas, and only a little more than half of the rural households had access to electricity as of 2011. It has been so despite the early state-driven attempts and more recent national and state policies that aimed to deliver energy to all. In this thesis, I used complexity theory as a lens to investigate the energy access literature. I found this framework particularly helpful because of its emphasis on local knowledge and feedback loops. Essentially, certain types of knowledge are context specific, and a concerted effort is required to recognize this knowledge and bring it into the decision making process. I hypothesized that the delivery of energy access can benefit from local knowledge and regional planning, but it is not yet an institutional practice to do so. I applied a pragmatic multi-method approach to investigate rural electrification in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. First, I explored the historical context of electrification in Karnataka and found this to be a top-down process, much like in the rest of India. Second, I drew from a stakeholder focus group discussion to further substantiate this finding, and provided examples of useful local knowledge in the socio-political context. Third, I identified relevant energy access indicators and presented a spatial analysis to show the regional disparities in different indicators and the opportunities to strategize future policy implementation. Finally, I synthesized all the findings to develop a regional energy planning framework based on three key components: data management, stakeholder coordination and policy advocacy. I make the case that policy research organizations can initiate this planning activity in different states to develop locally relevant rural electrification policies that build on regional data and local knowledge.en
dc.description.departmentCommunity and Regional Planningen
dc.subjectEnergy accessen
dc.subjectRural electrificationen
dc.subjectRegional planningen
dc.subjectLocal knowledgeen
dc.titleMapping energy access : a regional energy planning framework for rural electrification in Indiaen
dc.typeThesisen, School ofen and Regional Planningen Designen and Regional Planningen University of Texas at Austinen of Science in Sustainable Designen of Science in Community and Regional Planningen
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