DEO-Day 2002: “Liberalising the Energy Sector in Developing Countries: Solving Problems for the Poor?”

In a morning session, Ian Tellam of ‘not for profit’ consultancy ETC Energy gave an update of the background of this issue. He concentrated on the two dominant organizations in this debate: the Worlbank and IMF. Especially the insights in internal aspects of the Worldbank were clarifying. For the afternoon, an expert debate, chaired by Jos Bruggink (ECN), was planned. Joyeeta Gupta (IVM VU) was a guarantee for a infinite waterfall of words to extinguish the fire of world poverty. Willem van Groenendaal (University of Tilburg) is, under strict conditions, convinced of the use of liberalization. Unfortunately, Tractabel’s speaker, representing the business sector, didn’t come. On top of that, Daniël Chavez of the Transnational Insitute had to call off, because he was ill. Nevertheless, Ian Telling was willing to stand-in to keep discussion broad.

The topic appeared many-sided, such that convergence of discussion was difficult. What did come out was that many people see the force and usefulness of the influence of mayor international companies. However, they are shivery to give them too much power. Distributed generation of energy on a small scale, by local producers, was seen as an important direction of solutions. Another possibly fruitful condition for solutions is an honoust world market, in which prices are related to real costs. Only after that, liberalization can take of.

For a more detailed report on DEO2002, see Newsletter May March 2003, page 2, in Dutch, topic ‘Niet echt een blij instituut’.