It has been suggested that reforms to the electricity sector in developing countries encouraging the entry of independent power producers (IPPs) are likely to result in environmental improvements similar to those recently made in a number of developed economies. The present paper evaluates this claim by examining the experience of the Indian power sector. It finds that recent investments by IPPs have reduced the pollution-intensity of electricity generation in the country. Yet they have not brought the significant gains seen in countries such as the UK, nor are they likely to in the foreseeable future. This is largely a product of the nature and context of electricity sector reform in India which is less favourable to environmentally beneficial outcomes. Accordingly, the paper concludes by suggesting that the environmental benefits of restructuring are not automatic, but depend on the existence of an enabling structural, institutional and regulatory framework
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