In response to the Oct 10, 2010, energybiz.com article Bringing Electricity to Poorer Countries: Electrification tops UN Agenda, by Ken Silverstein, I wrote on Oct 11, 2010, the following comment under the title "Strategy for the Development of the Resources of the Demand Side:"
You report that "… the United Nations has established a goal of bringing power generation to the under-developed regions so that they can improve their quality of life." Such a goal could be very misleading as it can be interpreted as a policy in accordance with the Investor Owned Utilities Architecture Framework (IOUs-AF) that concentrates the attention into the resources of the supply side, with generation as the key technology.
That IOUs-AF policy has led to such a development of the resources of the supply side, which has been saturated for quite some time. During that time, that IOUs-AF policy has kept the development of the resources of the demand side highly underdeveloped. That is why the potential of the development of demand side is where most of the value creation is available to both develop and even more so for the developing countries, with for example net zero energy buildings as a goal.
So what is needed is not just to bring power generation to the under-developed regions of the world, but to also design an emergent power system with the highest systemic leverage possible. That involves a paradigm shift from the status quo IOUs-AF to the Electricity Without Price Controls Architecture Framework (EWPC-AF).
In order to find out which is the best way to satisfy the needs of underdeveloped regions of the world, I strongly suggest that the UN, as an integral part of the socio-technical whole power system, should concentrate their active attention in the EWPC article Which Country Will Take the Leadership of a Global Vision for Advancing Grids for Customers? In that article, I give the example of a developing country, the Dominican Republic, “… as one of the potential candidates to initiate the transformation of the electric power industry. I did that because that transformation is more dependent on a mental model shift about energy policy than a technological one to satisfy customers’ needs and to reduce industry strategic risk.”
Should the World Bank, as an active investor arm of the UN, insists on maintaining the IOUs-AF in South Africa, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere?