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As part of PESD's ongoing research on power sector reform, the program has focused on the special role of independent power producers (IPPs). Many countries institute reform with the goal of attracting private (usually foreign) investors in new generating capacity. IPPs, rather than across-the-board reform, are usually the mechanism employed; yet the IPP market has been highly volatile in the last decade and has evaporated in most countries in recent years.

This study, which grew out of an earlier effort funded by the Bechtel Initiative for Global Growth and Change (BIGCC), is exploring the factors that explain the patterns in IPP investment, and the legal and institutional mechanisms that could make the IPP mode of investment more sustainable. The study follows an earlier research project that examined the political economy of power sector reform in five key developing countries. That study showed that IPPs are a key part of the reform experience and suggested a need to probe the factors that affect IPP outcomes.

We completed the study in October 2005. You can download the near final report, A Political Economy of International Infrastructure Contracting: Lessons from the IPP Experience, below. Additional final publications will appear in the coming year.