Does an electricity connection help the very poorest households? To many people, connecting rural households to the electricity grid in places like Kenya seems like a great way to help … Continue Reading Electrification and the Poverty Trap
New paper ranks 219 countries and 1,692 cities based on air conditioning potential. Air conditioner sales are booming worldwide, especially in warm countries with growing economies. But how big is … Continue Reading Heat Exposure and Global Air Conditioning
A randomized controlled trial demonstrates the importance of providing financing for energy-efficient appliances in Kenya. On one of my first trips to Nairobi, Kenya, our local research assistant took me … Continue Reading Closing the Energy Efficiency Gap for Low-Income Households
Electricity can provide more than we think. People talk a lot about the potential benefits of bringing electricity to some of the billion homes in the world that do not … Continue Reading Are We Looking for the Benefits of Rural Electrification in the Wrong Places?
A recent working paper highlights the importance of accounting for environmental protection in measures of GDP. Last November, I gained new appreciation for clean air. It wasn’t because I went … Continue Reading A Better Way to Measure Economic Growth
The transition to new air conditioning refrigerants will involve difficult tradeoffs. Air conditioning (AC) has transformed life in hot and humid countries including the US, Japan and Korea. Over 85 … Continue Reading Weighing Consumer Safety versus Climate Action
(Today’s post is co-authored with Susanna Berkouwer, a Ph.D. candidate at the Energy Institute.) A UC Berkeley-based engineering team thinks the answer is “yes.” Many of us are in the … Continue Reading Can Cell Phones Help Improve Electricity Reliability?
(This post is co-authored with Catherine Wolfram and Derek Wolfson, Energy Institute PhD student researcher) Microgrids are difficult to implement and can be undermined by promises of grid expansion. Nuclear … Continue Reading Are Solar Microgrids the Future in the Developing World?
Temperature loggers can help us build more energy-efficient homes. One billion (yep, 1,000,000,000) new homes will be built worldwide by 2025. How do we make homes that will stay cool … Continue Reading Big Data in a Little Package
Vietnam, a leading indicator for the rest of the developing world, has seen tremendous growth in per capita energy consumption. During a recent family vacation in Vietnam, I learned that … Continue Reading Good Morning Vietnam, Energy-wise
Recent research questions a widely held belief. (This post is co-authored with Kenneth Lee and Edward Miguel.) The head of Swedfund, the development finance group, recently summarized a widely-held belief: … Continue Reading Does Solving Energy Poverty Help Solve Poverty? Not Quite.
Most discussions about energy in the developing world quickly turn to the 1.3 billion people who don’t have access to electricity. Many initiatives are focused on serving these people, such … Continue Reading The Developing World Is Connecting to the Power Grid, but Reliability Lags
(Today’s post is co-authored with Paul Gertler. Wolfram and Gertler direct the Applied Research Program on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) in partnership with Oxford Policy Management. The program is … Continue Reading Is the Regulatory Compact Broken in Sub-Saharan Africa?
One of the most important energy graphs these days shows actual and projected energy consumption in the world, separated between developed and developing countries. A version based on data from … Continue Reading What the Heck Is Happening in the Developing World?
A recent article in the New York Times describes how a solar home provider will, “help some of the 1.2 billion people in the world who don’t have electricity to … Continue Reading “Real” Electricity Still Comes from the Grid
Renewable energy technologies have made outstanding progress in the last decade. The cost of solar panels has plummeted. Wind turbines have become massively more efficient. In many places some forms … Continue Reading Is the Future of Electricity Generation Really Distributed?