unctad.org | The Energy-transformation Nexus
The Energy-transformation Nexus
Book Information
UNCTAD Policy Brief No. 56


Access to electricity is essential to the structural transformation of the economies of the least developed countries. Equally, such a transformation is essential to electricity access.

The viability of investments in electricity infrastructure depends critically on demand; and structural transformation directly generates demand in production processes and also strengthens domestic demand by raising household incomes.

This two-way relationship – the energy–transformation nexus (figure 1) – is central to the development process, and essential to universal electricity access in the least developed countries.

The energy–transformation nexus

The energy–transformation nexus

Key points:

  • Productive use of electricity can have a transformational impact on the economies of the least developed countries.

  • The additional demand it generates can also help make investments in electricity infrastructure viable.

  • The resulting energy–transformation nexus is central to both development and modern energy access.

  • Harnessing this nexus effectively requires transformational energy access and complementary development policies.


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