International Trade and Access to Sustainable Energy: Issues and Lessons from Country Experiences

Published By: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Dev | Published Date: December, 01 , 2013

How can trade policy respond to the needs and concerns of more than a billion people in the developing world that lack access to energy for fulfilling their daily needs such as cooking and lighting? An effective way would be to address trade barriers to sustainable energy goods. This paper looks at specific examples of sustainable energy goods, namely solar technologies and associated products that have become an increasingly popular and cost-effective choice to deliver electricity to people not connected to the grid. However, barriers to more widespread diffusion of these products still remain. The paper examines a number of domestic policy and market bottlenecks that stifle growth and their rate of uptake and how they can be overcome. It then examines patterns of trade in products, such as solar lanterns and solar panels, policies that hinder trade, such as import tariffs and taxation, and a range of trade-relevant issues including, among others, those related to customs classification practices and delays in customs clearance and standardization. The paper finally explores how some of these trade-related barriers could be addressed within the context of a sustainable energy trade agreement (SETA) for a positive impact on expanding access to sustainable energy.

Author(s): Hari Manoharan, Madhavan Nampoothir | Posted on: Feb 05, 2016 | Views()

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