Research on energy demand in developing countries is important for many reasons. The existing widespread use of solid energy sources (e.g. fuelwood, dung, charcoal, coal, leaves, twigs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in the developing world in general, has a number of environmental implications. Deforestation, disturbance in watersheds, indoor air pollution and loss of biodiversity are some to mention. On the other hand, climbing the “energy ladder” has implications for greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, understanding the pattern of household energy demand and its implications on the environment is crucial to formulate appropriate energy policies that affect household welfare, local environment and climate change.
Based on the above rationale, a group of EfD researchers formed a collaborative research project on “Energy demand and household welfare in developing countries” and held the first workshop at Jupiter International Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 23-24, 2012.
The collaborative project on energy demand is led by Alemu Mekonnen of EfD-Ethiopia, and Adolf Mkenda of EfD-Tanzania. Team member researchers such as John Mutua of EfD-Kenya, Abebe Damte of EfD-Ethiopia, Liang Huifang and Mun Ho of EfD- China presented individual research ideas from their respective countries. The research team agreed to improve the preliminary proposal submitted to the EfD secretariat and formulate a full-fledged research proposal which will be submitted to the EfD and other potential funders end of March 2012.