Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Christian Kimmich

Coordination, Conflicts, and Politics of Electricity Provision for Irrigation in South India

Start: June 2008
End: November 2013

This research project addresses the governance of electricity infrastructure with regards to the electricity provision for agricultural irrigation in Andhra Pradesh. Although subsidized with free electricity, dry-land, groundwater-dependent agriculture is challenged by high private investment costs in irrigation, while competing on a common commodities market. The state faces severe groundwater overdraft and financial burdens. With a share of 36% in electricity consumption, agriculture in Andhra Pradesh plays an eminent role in unfolding paths towards sustainable development.
The research develops an analytical framework based on the “Institutions of Sustainability”, linking theories of institutional, evolutionary, resource and ecological economics. Three levels of economic organization are analyzed and incorporated: (I) The macro perspective of infrastructure regulation and the related political economy, (II) the micro perspective of agricultural production systems, and (III) the meso perspective of electricity governance at the distribution level. The electricity utilities are being analyzed predominantly based on theories of institutional and regulatory economics and public choice to identify and understand institutional arrangements for the regulation and provision of electricity for agricultural irrigation.
Methodologically, the research consists of both qualitative and quantitative approaches and seeks to base them on a foundation in theory of science. The selected case study offers characteristics of crucial and dynamic institutional changes to understand the interplay between public choices and infrastructure governance and the levels of economic organization.

Researcher: Kimmich, Christian

Advisors: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Publications and Presentations: see