CEEW hosted a roundtable discussion on 'Electricity for Rural India: Understanding Policy Preferences'with Professor Johannes Urpelainen, University of Columbia.
In India, 400 million people have no access to electricity even for domestic lighting. Through a survey conducted by CEEW researchers in the Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, it was found that although people are not very aware of alternatives to kerosene, such as solar lanterns, new information about them does not have a strong effect on their policy preferences. The rural communities have a strong and uniform preference for both kerosene and solar lighting subsidies, and this preference is difficult to change.CEEW researchers also surveyed people's views of energy policy in Uttar Pradesh and the desirability of power sector reform.
The roundtable discussion outlined three main findings:Ideology plays an important role in determining ones satisfaction with government energy policy, Awareness campaigns for solar do not affect policy preferences; and there is willingness to pay increased tariffs for investment in power supply.