A normative-empirical approach to the challenge of defining and providing sustainable electricity in developing countries

Acknowledging a general absence of normative standards for sustainable electricity provision, i.e. provision of electricity in a manner consistent with sustainable development, this report surveys relevant literature to identify the critical issues and criteria that must form the basis for more transparent and effective normative-practical guidelines. Critical social, environmental and economic issues for sustainable electricity provision in developing countries are identified and distilled into six cross-cutting issues that represent bottom-line “quality kilowatts”. The report then proposes the use of models of home-country business culture to identify differences among TNCs providing electricity to developing countries. The research documents and evaluates how “quality kilowatts” are being conceived and implemented in three TNC case studies with the overall aim of improving the quality, poverty-reducing capability, and contribution to sustainable development of electricity provision in developing countries.

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