We describe changes in electricity use between 1970 and 1986 for 13 of the largest developing countries. Average annual growth in electricity consumption ranged from 4.4% in Argentina to 13% in South Korea. Combined electricity consumption for the 13 study countries averaged growth of 10.0%/year in the 1970s, but only 7.1%/year in the 1980-1986 period. Electricity consumption grew much faster than GDP in most of the countries. The industrial sector continues to dominate electricity consumption, but its share of total consumption has declined in the face of faster growth in the residential and commercial sectors. Industrial electricity intensity rose significantly in Latin America during the 1970-1986 period but did not increase greatly in most of the Asian countries. Growth in residential electricity use per capita, caused by increased ownership of appliances in already-electrified homes and by increase in the number of homes that have electricity, has been most rapid in Asia; however, most Latin American countries still have higher use per capita than most Asian ones. © 1989.
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