Systematic review of the socio-economic impacts of rural electrification

Provision of modern energy services to communities grappling with poverty and inequality can have a transformative effect on economic standing, health, education, poverty, and inequality. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with Goal 7 dedicated to energy, sets the target to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. To date countries have pursued a variety of policies and programmes in an effort to close the gap on electricity access. In the context of Goal 7 on achieving universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services, the objective of this systematic review is to assess whether and to what degree electrification interventions are leading to socio-economic development impacts, examine the distributional impacts of electrification based on gender, age and income. This review additionally examines the comparative effectiveness of various interventions and aims to identify specific challenges in the causal pathway.