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Jiaxiong Yao
Past studies on the relationship between electricity consumption and temperature have primarily focused on individual countries. Many regions are understudied as a result of data constraint. This paper studies the relationship on a global scale, overcoming the data constraint by using grid-level night light and temperature data. Mostly generated by electricity and recorded by satellites, night light has a strong linear relationship with electricity consumption and is correlated with both its extensive and intensive margins. Using night light as a proxy for electricity consumption at the grid level, we find: (1) there is a U-shaped relationship between electricity consumption and temperature; (2) the critical point of temperature for minimum electricity consumption is around 14.6°C for the world and it is higher in urban and more industrial areas; and (3) the impact of temperature on electricity consumption is persistent. Sub-Saharan African countries, while facing a large electricity deficit already, are particularly vulnerable to climate change: a 1°C increase in temperature is estimated to increase their electricity demand by 6.7% on average.
Sophia Chen, Ms. Deniz O Igan, Mr. Nicola Pierri, and Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
We use high-frequency indicators to analyze the economic impact of COVID-19 in Europe and the United States during the early phase of the pandemic. We document that European countries and U.S. states that experienced larger outbreaks also suffered larger economic losses. We also find that the heterogeneous impact of COVID-19 is mostly captured by observed changes in people’s mobility, while, so far, there is no robust evidence supporting additional impact from the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions. The deterioration of economic conditions preceded the introduction of these policies and a gradual recovery also started before formal reopening, highlighting the importance of voluntary social distancing, communication, and trust-building measures.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Haiti near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. The IMF staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in Haiti and globally. Income inequality can hamper economic growth and development. Currently, the financial needs of the rural poor are sustained by microfinance institutions, financial cooperatives, humanitarian programs, and remittance providers. Greater financial inclusion could also be reached via solutions outside of traditional banking practices, including through fintech initiatives. In addition to being a moral imperative, addressing gender inequality is necessary for generating broad-based and inclusive growth. Formal employment opportunities for women need to be expanded. A good start would be to implement the 30 percent quota reserved for women in public-sector appointments, which was introduced in 2012 but never enforced.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper presents Jordan’s 2020 Article IV Consultation and Request for an Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (ECF). Jordan’s IMF-supported economic reform program is anchored on structural reforms designed to spur growth by creating jobs—especially for women and young people—and reduce poverty. The Jordanian economy has continued facing significant challenges. Macroeconomic stability and external buffers have been preserved, but fiscal vulnerabilities remain. Structural reforms and continued fiscal consolidation efforts are critical to lift growth, reduce unemployment and bring debt on a downward path. Continued support from donors, particularly through concessional loans and budget grants, will be critical to help Jordan cope with humanitarian and economic needs. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak poses significant risks to the program implementation. The authorities have implemented measures to help contain the impact of the pandemic; however, adjustments to the program modalities might be necessary considering the rapidly changing circumstances. Donor support through budget grants and concessional financing will be critical to help Jordan cope with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the Syrian refugee crisis and to support program objectives.
Ms. Anja Baum
Despite starting as one of the poorest countries in the mid-1980s, Vietnam has achieved rapid developmental progress, reaching lower middle-income status in 2010. In line with rapid economic growth, Vietnam has achieved impressive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during this time. This paper sheds light on some elements of Vietnam’s success story, highlighting crucial policies in education and electricity sectors. It undertakes a forward-looking costing exercise that focusses on five sectors – education, health, roads, water, and electricity infrastructure. Achieving the remaining SDGs in Vietnam will be a challenge, with total annual additional spending needs in the 5 subsectors estimated at 7 percent of GDP by 2030.