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David Szakonyi
Columbia University
davidszakonyi@gmail.com
David Szakonyi received his bachelor's degree in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia. He is now a doctoral candidate in the political science department at Columbia University and a Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Institutions and Development at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. His research interests include political economy, international development, and clientelism.
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Articles By David Szakonyi
Solar power for street vendors? Lessons from an experiment in Bihar
Posted On: 06 Feb 2015


Rapid urbanisation in developing countries is aggravating the issue of insufficient access to energy for basic needs such as lighting. This column discusses lessons from an experiment in Bihar wherein street vendors were provided solar-powered lights, the batteries of which were charged at centralised stations installed in urban marketplaces. Based on problems encountered in terms of the mode and cost of operation, it suggests that the provision of electric grid connections, with stand-alone solar lights as backup, may be a better approach.
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India´s power sector reforms: Who reaped the benefits?
Posted On: 02 May 2014

Topics:   Infrastructure
Tags:   electricity

The cornerstone of India´s power sector reforms is the 2003 National Electricity Act that limited state intervention in the power sector. This column analyses the effects of the Act on Indian manufacturing firms. It finds that political clout of firms played a key role in the distribution of gains from the reforms in terms of improved electricity supply.
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