Reform and Regulation of the Electricity Sectors in Developing Countries
The 1990s witnessed a worldwide trend toward electricity sector reforms in developed and developing economies. These reforms have generally been based on private participation, regulatory reform, and competition in the sector. This paper reviews and draws lessons from the reform experience in developing countries. Developing countries have had to reform technically and financially less efficient electricity systems with less developed private sectors, weak economic and political institutions, shortage of skilled human resources, and lack of regulatory experience. The paper argues that competition and regulatory reform are equally important to the success of reforms. Also, the sector’s systemic characteristics and the country’s institutional endowment should weight equally in the design of reforms. In addition, distributional and access to service aspects of reforms call for a redefined state involvement rather than a complete withdrawal from the sector.
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