2.1. IntroductionThe MDGs attest to the fact that energy is needed and important to achieve quality of life in the global world. Khatib 1993 (cited in Adriaan Z., 2001) argues that the lack of access to reliable energy sources is a major setback to sustainable development in developing countries and to the well-being of society. In other countries, electricity is conceived as the modern source of energy and is substantive for development. Productive uses of electricity in rural areas help in improving businesses and farm productivity and enhance the convenience of household tasks and serves as an effective form of household lighting (ESMAP, 2002). Adriaan Z. (2001) believes that the access to electricity in developing countries is a pre-requisite for promoting human progress in developing countries and the further investment in electricity is necessary to support both industrialized and developing countries in increasing productivity. National and Global experiences proves that there exists close linkage between the lack of access to electricity and rural poverty. Evidently, electricity has been viewed as a requirement for both bettering the standard of living and carrying out productive and economic activities. Productive uses of electricity such as drawing water for domestic consumption and irrigation, lighting that extends work and learning hours, powering tiny and small scale rural enterprise and facilitating community level activities bestows significant benefits on the rural society (TERI, 2002, cited in K Das, 2006). The history of modernization of western capitalist societies particularly, the US and the European nations, have been facile about the productive uses of electricity. In the final analysis, electrification did not re-establish the rural culture; the productive uses of electricity however, massively improved home life and accelerated the modernization of farming operations (Brown, 1980 and Bose 1993, cited in K Das, 2006).According to National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and United States Agency for International Development (NRECA and USAID) the concept of “productive use of electricity” is based on the assumption that electricity improves the competitiveness of rural enterprises. Within the framework of the concept, the electric cooperative or energy service provider is assumed to be the impresario of rural enterprise, which generates consumer goods and services, increases employment, and enhances the local economy. In developing countries, promoting the productive uses of electricity is regarded as the significant idea and a development goal that governments and rural communities cannot afford to ignore. Rural communities are part of a globalized world, full of risks and opportunities, where only the most competitive businesses survive (NRECA and USAID, n.d).2.2 Conceptual Framework2.2.1 Meaning of Productive uses of ElectricitySiddhi P. 2000 argues that the access to electricity for non-farm businesses improves productivity and income levels for rural people. Moreover the Energy Sector Management Assistant Programme 2002, reports that there is the growing evidence in the use of electricity in rural homes which is directly related to improvement in education levels. Dahlin B. 2002 believes that because there is an attested link between lifetime earnings and education, the use of electricity that has positive impacts on education is reckoned productive.The classical definition of productive uses of energy for development which is used in discussion is mainly water-pumping for irrigation and power for agriculture (Cabraal et al. 2005). The concept does not capture other productive uses such as barber shops using electricity for TV for their customers and social uses of electricity. Cabraal et al 2005, raised issues and questions of productive uses such as; a farmer in Bolivia who received market prices or remittances from New York more efficiently because of Information and Communication Technology tools powered by electricity and freed up time with prolonged lighting in evening hours if there is local shortage of work to fill those hours. Based on these issues Barnes and Cabraal 2005, (cited in Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) 2006), defined productive uses as any process that creates value added – directly or indirectly, immediately or on the long run (including the concept of “socially productive uses” which can create economically productive impacts indirectly, via improved education or gender equality). According to GTZ 2006, the direct use of electricity for income is not only of importance but greater consideration should be given to the indirect aspects use of electricity base on the fact that the provision of electricity for increasing education though, does not provide immediate benefits, has impact on life expectancy, because educated and healthy people possess a greater advantage and potential for income generation than a relatively unhealthy and uneducated people. GTZ 2006 however claims that the use of energy for basically home lighting and entertainment is much regarded as unproductive application. Though it certainly improves the quality of life, it is however difficult to relate better standards of living as a result of access to electricity, to the potency of generating income from economic activities.Electricity is useful in all sectors of the economy. According to Kopp A. (2010), electricity for agricultural activities are mainly used for irrigation, to power farm machinery like fodder choppers and threshers, grinders or dryers. Productive activities in the secondary sector from the agro-based industries include; vaccine refrigeration for animals, fruit and vegetable processing, use of grinding mills and tobacco-curing for bakeries. Non agro based activities such as basket making, carpentry workshops or other woodworks, charcoal and brick manufacturing facilities, tailoring, fish net weaving, potteries, blacksmithing, car, bicycle or electronics repair or welding workshops are all productive uses of electricity that contribute to development. Other productive uses in the service sector include; small restaurants and retail shops, battery charging centres, hairdressing and beauty shops (Kopp A. 2010).2.2.2. The nexus between Productive uses of Electricity and National DevelopmentKittleson, D. (1998) in his attempt to explain productive uses of electricity defined productive uses as any use of electricity which improves the financial situation of the end-user and or contributes to the development of the community and the nation. Productive uses of electricity exceed the use of electricity for household activities such as lighting or television. It involves issues that positively correlate to National Development. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in September 2000 after United Nation’s (UN) declaration by 189 member state has its main goal to charge the international community to human development, and also serve as key to sustaining social and economic development. These goals are however, widely accepted as the model for measuring growth and development progress, and serves as the benchmark for improving productivity by alleviating income generating activities and improving business climate (Cabraal et al. 2005). The UN Millennium Project which offers a pragmatic plan to achieve the MDGs, has identified the importance of energy services. It has remarked the provision of electricity for all educational and health institutions as the development interference that can be followed out instantly and has the potential to bring vital gains in the lives of millions of people.Kapadia, K. (2004), argues that access to energy is an important component of the MDGs. He further reveals that the goal of improving maternal health cannot be achieved without electricity. According to UNDP (2003) the risk of dying during childbirth is one in 48. Improving maternal health demands for interventions such as providing women with the access to better nutrition, education, rural midwives and access to improved health facilities. Health facilities require electricity for lights, incubation, refrigeration to best keep temperatures of vaccines and medicines, conducting of laboratory examinations and for communication facilities. Moreover trained professional like the doctors and nurses prefer to work and live near health facilities located in areas where there is access to electricity (Kapadia, K., 2004).According to an article published by David J., 2010, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that more than $36 billion a year is required to ensure that the world’s population benefits from access to electricity and clean-burning cooking facilities by 2030. The UN’s MDG goal meeting in New York reported that it will be possible to eradicated extreme poverty only if an additional 395 million people gained access to electricity. Faith Birol (cited in Matthew B., 2010) declared that “without electricity, social and economic development is much more difficult”, and the provision of clean water and addressing of sanitation and hunger can never be met without energy. According to the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNDP and UNIDO) (cited in David J., 2010) 31 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity whiles 80 per cent rely on biomass for cooking. About 1.4 billion people in the world do not have access to electricity and 2.7 billion people rely on traditional biomass to cook. This largely contributes to deforestation and affects the quality of air which causes health problems and premature deaths (IEA cited in David J., 2010). This view supported by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2002 also states that, women and children are at a greater risk because of their exposure to traditional biomass. According to the IAEA acute respiratory illnesses affect 6 percent of the world’s total population. The World Health Organization (WHO) reckons that 2.5 million women and young children in many developing countries pass on prematurely in every year as a result of breathing fumes from biomass stoves (IAEA, 2002).Productive uses of electricity exceed generating activities such as power for agricultural, industrial and commercial uses. A community with access to electricity has a spillover effect of generating surplus within the domestic economy. The access to electricity will help people save money otherwise spent on other expensive means of lighting such as candles, kerosene and batteries and it will provide an opportunity to create value (Koen R., 2012).2.2.3. The Uses of Electricity in Rural Communities in Developing Countries.Energy is of extreme importance to the well-being of man and known to be a key contributor to the economic development. While electricity is reckoned as a common good, in many countries people have barely access to a sustainable power source of electricity. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) an estimated 1.3 billion people in the world are without access to electricity. Moreover, over 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. The majority of these people, 95per cent of them, live in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia and 84per cent live in rural areas, far away from National Grids (IEA, 2011 cited in Koen R., 2012).Lighting is an important convenience for all households. It is needed in the evening during cooking in kitchens and for studying purposes for schoolchildren and teachers. The usage of electricity for lighting depends on the availability, the installation costs and the access to grid. Only 24 per cent of the Zimbabwean population has access to grid electricity and with it the possibility to use it for lighting (Household Energy Network, 2010).The poorest households use electricity for just one or two light-bulbs. Those with slightly higher incomes use more lights and low cost, low power consumption appliances such as radios and fans (Barnes, 1988. Nafziger, 1994 cited in Smith, N. 1995). The electricity consumption of these low income households is extremely low. For example, at the Andhi Khola electrification project in Nepal, the average demand by rural consumers is less than 100 W per household. Here, the consumers are offered a load limited supply of 25 W, 50 W or 250 W. The average monthly energy consumption figures for each of these tariff categories are 6 kWh, 12 kWh and 67 kWh respectively. More than two thirds of rural users subscribe to the 50 W supplies and use just one or two light-bulbs and a radio (Nafziger, 1994 cited in Smith, N. 1995). Similar levels of consumption occur on micro-hydro projects in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and in village electrification projects on the Pacific Islands (Herrmann, 1990 cited in Smith, N. 1995). Electricity usage is generally higher in urban areas than rural areas as cash incomes are higher. In a few countries, such as Laos, there are some urban areas where electricity is the cheapest cooking fuel and, as a result, even the lower income households consume relatively large amounts of electricity (Smith, N. 1995).Electricity makes it possible to perform household chores more easily and in less time. Electric appliances and, to some extent, better household lighting can lessen the drudgery of family chores, including washing clothes, cooking, cleaning, child care, collecting fuel wood, and fetching drinking water (ESMAP, 2002).2.2.4. In What Productive ways is Electricity used in Rural Communities?In the context of providing modern energy services in rural areas, a productive use of energy is one that involves the application of energy derived mainly from renewable resources to create goods and/or services either directly or indirectly for the production of income or value” (White 2002, cited in Kopp A., 2010). The production of goods and services through the supply of electricity cuts across all sectors of the economy. In the area of agriculture, the productive uses of electricity include pumping of water for irrigation, power farm machinery like fodder choppers and threshers, grinders, or dryers. Access to a reliable source of energy can significantly boost business in poor rural areas. In a survey done in Zimbabwe, entrepreneurs faced the most problems with financing (30per cent), followed by electricity problems (23per cent). After introducing electricity, 40per cent of the local people started an enterprise. The new enterprises mainly existed of grinding mills, butcheries, bottle stores and more retailing stores. Furthermore, a service sector emerged, as barber shops, restaurants and night clubs were established (Koen R., 2012).Kopp A. (2010) agrees to the fact that income generating activities are based on modern energy, and that the access to electricity induces people to start new business, thus creates employment. Barua highlights the case study of small business in Bangladesh providing telephone services for a village (Barua 1998, cited in Kopp A. 2010). In a small case study Kirubi documents that Kenyan carpenters having access to electricity increase productivity per worker between 100 and 200per cent in number of produced goods and their revenue between 20 and 80 per cent (Kirubi, 2009.) A World Bank study states that agricultural product processing activities have benefited from electricity in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In Indonesia, on average at least two new agricultural activities have been launched in each of the 16 electrified villages considered since electricity became available. Furthermore average incomes from enterprises using electricity are double those of enterprises without electricity (Ramani and Heijndermans, 2003, cited in Kopp A. 2010).
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