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.
Perhaps current prices of fossil fuels are the reflection of the hurricane's eye passing through the global markets. Before exorbitant oil prices again steal all the attention, it is important to analyze our policies on public and private transport management in general. And in particular fuel tax policies, which is here discussed by Francisco Alpizar, Rebecca Osakwe and Allen Blackman.
Policy makers in developing countries need to balance an array of distributional, political, fiscal and environmental goals in deciding whether to raise fuel taxes. Our analysis demonstrates that distributional concerns need not trump competing goals.
This paper investigates whether South African households and small businesses can take advantage of the country's substantial wind resources to produce their own power from small- scale wind turbines in a viable way.
We estimate productivity growth for 33 industries covering the entire Chinese economy using a time series of input-output tables covering 1982-2000.
The Costa Rican Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) seeks a new methodology to set the prices of electric power generation that uses renewable and alternative sources of energy.
This paper examines the multiple fuel choices of urban households in major Ethiopian cities, using panel data collected in 2000 and 2004. The results suggest that as urban and rural households’ total expenditures rise, they use more types of fuels (including wood) and spend more on the fuels consumed. The results also support arguments that multiple fuel use better describes the fuel-choices of households in developing countries, as opposed to the idea that households switch to more expensive but cleaner fuels as incomes rise.
Fertilizer use (including dung) in Ethiopia is low, particularly in the northern highlands, where dung is a significant source of household fuel.
This paper reviews the state of economic understanding about fuelwood in developing countries. It synthesizes the main results from numerous empirical studies with the intent of identifying implications for policy and pointing out where important questions remain unanswered.
In this study Kenya’s energy sector was overviewed for the period 1971-2004. The relation between total energy and total carbon dioxide emission was studied.
Global biofuels production is one of the topics that amply illustrates the complexity of harmonising the different variables of sustainable development. Pursuing environmental protection and implementing social standards, while assuring economic feasibility in industrial activities is vital for developing countries to compete in the global economy.
This paper uses the input-output methodology known as structural decomposition analysis to discuss Namibian energy use. And the paper makes an additional contribution to the literature on structural decomposition analysis by showing that the hybrid units approach, which has frequently been used in other structural decomposition analyses and in other types of energy studies, is in fact unsuitable at least for this type of analysis.
This paper uses decomposition methodology to study whether the changes in Namibian aggregate energy intensity have been structurally driven – as in most developing countries studied to date – or whether they have been driven by changes in energy efficiency at the sectoral level.
As part of a natural resource accounting project being undertaken in Namibia, energy accounts have been compiled and are used to analyse energy use by different economic sectors. Households account for most energy use, especially of traditional fuels, and many households continue to rely on rewood even when they have access to electricity.
The Chinese government is lowering its subsidies for renewable energy, after researchers found that they were too high relative to the rapidly dropping global price of wind and solar technologies.
Small-scale, community-managed hydro power schemes in remote rural Kenya function well if they are run by strong leaders, and have firm rules for how the scheme should be managed. When members of the mini-grid system know they will be disconnected from the grid for breaking those rules, they tend to cooperate more willingly.
For the average rural Kenyan, having a fully charged mobile phone isn't just a luxury that allows them to make phone calls. It’s a complete office for running their small businesses. So when people have access to an electricity source that allows them to keep their phone batteries charged, it means the entire local economy benefits.
The mountainous countryside in Kenya is ideally suited for small-scale hydro power plants, particularly for communities that are too far from the national electrical grid, or where the infrastructure and connection costs are too high. But the government of this East African country has not exploited its hydro power opportunities, something which environmental economist Mary Karumba hopes to change as she returns to government service after completing her doctoral studies in South Africa.
Having competitions between staff, appointing water-saving ‘champions’ in your office block, or recognising people for their efforts to use energy more sparingly: these are small but powerful ways that cities can encourage people to cut their water and electricity use. Now, behavioural economists at the University of Cape Town’s Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) are about to embark on a three-year collaboration with Cape Town’s utility managers, to see how they can implement these ideas across the city, and get them written into municipal policy.
High state subsidies have helped speed the growth of the renewable energy sector in China, but they now threaten the sustainability of the government’s funding policy for this sector. This is particularly true given the recent reduction in the cost of solar and wind technologies globally. Together, these factors are making the supply side of the sector extremely profitable in China, but are depleting state funds that are earmarked for this much-needed growth.
Ethiopia aims to build a green economy and to follow a growth path that fosters sustainable development. Through the development of its Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, which is based on carbon-neutral growth, it envisions attaining middle-income status by 2025. Improving the productivity of the agricultural sector, protecting forests, expanding the coverage of electric power from renewable sources of energy and transitioning into modern and energy-efficient technologies are the main pillars of Ethiopia’s CRGE strategy.
Air pollution caused by wood-burning in homes for cooking and heating purposes is one of the most important environmental problems in Chile, affecting thousands of families and causing early mortality. EfD Chile researchers study families’ and producers’ economic behavior, and advise the government to incorporate effective economic incentives to design better pollution control policies.
Within the unique wetland area Mpumalanga Lake District lies the site of a proposed, and controversial, opencast coal mine, the Lusthof colliery. It will require a preliminary ‘set-aside’ of about 70 million South African rands.
Contrary to the notion that increased biofuels production will undermine the food security of developing countries, EfD research results show that it can increase production of both food cereals and cash crops in Ethiopia. However, the effects vary by region.
ESKOM (national Energy Service Provider) has contracted Martine Visser, Grant Smith (masters student) and Steven Davies to do research on consumer understanding of billing practices.
Payments for ecosystem services in Costa Rica: Does it matter who gets paid and why for the efficiency of payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs aimed to reduce deforestation and forest degradation? This is being studied by EfD Central America researchers.