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2009-10-22 | Policy Brief

Income alone doesn’t determine adoption and choice of fuel types: Evidence from households in Tigrai and major cities in Ethiopia

Mekonnen, A., and Köhlin, G. 2008 “Determinants of Household Fuel Choice in Major Cities in Ethiopia” Discussion Paper Series EfD DP 08-18, Environment for Development (EfD), University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden. Gebreegziabher, Z., M
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It is estimated that approximately 2.5 billion people in developing countries rely on biomass fuels to meet their cooking needs. Biomass fuels are derived from living, or recently living organisms, such as wood and leaves, animal waste and other types of waste. Urban centers have long been dependent on the rural hinterlands for about 90% of their biomass fuel needs in Ethiopia. This is one of the causes of deforestation and has resulted in growing fuel scarcity and higher firewood prices.

One response to reducing the pressure on rural hinterlands could be for urban households to
switch from biomass fuels to another type of fuel such as electricity. This switching of fuel types
is known as energy transition. Without new policies, the number of people globally that rely on
biomass fuels is expected to increase to 2.6 billion by 2015, and 2.7 million by 2030 (about one third of the world’s population) due to population growth.