Enabling Policies for Advancing Sustainability of Electricity Access Programs
As 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity globally, the challenge of ensuring universal electricity access in accordance with the Sustainable Energy for All initiative remains herculean. This chapter maps policy linkages, identifies the gaps in policies and recommends options for developing the enabling environment. The chapter suggests that the policy environment governing electricity access at present is weak and that improvements are required to deliver a sustainable outcome. Although grid extension remains the preferred mode of electrification in many countries, it is not the least-cost option in remote areas where decentralized off-grid solutions may be required. Successful promotion of off-grid solutions would require a clear regulatory environment, a non-discriminatory support mechanism for various stages of a project, financing options, policy co-ordination and linkage with other economic activities for rural development. The chapter concludes that capacity remains weak and non-transparent policy lobbying can distort the development of an enabling environment.