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close this bookBoiling Point No. 43 - Fuel Options for Household Energy (ITDG - ITDG, 1999, 44 p.)
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GTZ pages

Household Energy Programme (HEP)
Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany
Tel: +49 6196-79 1618/6354

Editor: Cornelia Sepp

News from Headquarters

Staff announcement

Ruth Ambrosch, the secretary and administrative assistant of HEP has left the team as of June 1999. This has created a shortage of personnel at GTZ head office (HEP supra-regional). The HEP team apologises for resulting inconveniences or delays in communication and transactions.

Please address all further mail and requests directly to Birgit Starkenberg (Phone: 06196 79 6354, E-Mail:, Anke Weymann (Phone: 06196/79 1618, E-Mail: and Karin Roeske (Phone: 06196/79-1617, E-Mail: at GTZ, OE 4543, Fax: 06196/797325.

Project co-ordinator workshop at HEP

A workshop with all project coordinators of HEP was staged from July 12-14, 1999. The participants included Marlis Kees (ProBEC), Trudy Koenemund (HEP Natural Resources), Beatrix Westhoff (HEP-Sahel), Peter Keller (Senior Planner, OE 4543), and Birgit Starkenberg, Karin Roeske and Anke Weymann from HEP supra-regional. The aim of the workshop was to consolidate the core strategies and programme structure of HEP. Major issues discussed were future forms of co-operation and the intensification of government policy advice, which must reach beyond the technical level up to the State Secretary in order to make a sufficient impact.

A further important topic was developing a common understanding and mutual support in the field of monitoring. The workshop was felt to be very successful by all participants.

Regional workshop for ProBEC in Harare

Karin Roeske will participate at the ProBEC 'Regional Workshop' in Harare, Zimbabwe from October 17-22, 1999. The Regional Workshop will be held on a yearly basis; the up-coming one is already the second workshop. The representatives from all six countries engaged in ProBEC will meet to exchange experiences and ideas on the developments of the past year and to decide jointly on plans for the next year. A major topic will be the establishment of a mutual monitoring procedure.

Preparing the second phase for the household energy programme in the Sahel

The first three-year phase of HEP-Sahel will end December 1999. For this reason, Anke Weymann and a consultant recently travelled to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - the seat of HEP-Sahel. There, the past activities and experiences of HEP-Sahel were critically reviewed, and plans for the next phase were prepared and submitted to the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) for approval.

The partner organisation of HEP-Sahel, the 'Comitermanent Inter-Etats de la Lutte contre la Seresse au Sahel', CILSS, intends to integrate a working unit for household energy (for traditional and alternative energy forms) in its main programme of resource management. The technical and structural integration of HEP-Sahel in this working unit was, thus, intensively discussed with the responsible CILSS members. Such an integration was very much welcomed by both sides and is viewed as a logic continuation of the past collaboration. Provided that the BMZ consents to the proposed concept, an extension of HEP-Sahel for a further three years will be pursued.

International symposium

An international symposium on the topic of 'Biomass and Energy for Development and Environment: Perspectives for Africa' will be staged in Abidjan, Cd'Ivoire, from November 29 to December 3. The symposium is financed by the World Bank in co-operation with RPTES, BAD, SYNERGY-European Commission, CIRAD-Forand other well-known organisations. Representatives of the Household Energy Programme will attend the symposium and present HEP's regional programmes.

ProBEC - Programme for Biomass Energy Conservation in Southern Africa

by Paul Mushamba, ProBEC Office Team, Harare, Zimbabwe

At the regional ProBEC workshop that was held in Harare in October 1999 (see Boiling Point No. 42) it was generally agreed to go back and identify, plan for and implement demonstration projects in the six partner countries. The whole idea of a demonstration project is to illustrate the impacts that could be realised, within a comparatively short period of time, if biomass energy conservation measures are integrated into the livelihood activities of a community in a small geographical area.


The ProBEC interim steering committee, being chaired by the Forestry Division, called a stakeholders' meeting in August, 1999. They agreed that before they can form a substantive steering committee, they need to hold a consensus building workshop to identify the areas of focus for ProBEC and draw out an action plan. Thereafter, they would put together the Terms of Reference for the steering committee.


Malawi is probably in the lead in terms of progress made in implementing the demonstration project which is located at the Border Zone of the Nyika National Park. Here they have gone through the steps of collecting baseline data, holding a planning meeting and starting implementation. The concept evolves around creating awareness among the target households and institutions about fuel-efficient cooking appliances, kitchen management and on-farm tree planting.


A baseline survey in Marracuene District was completed at the end of August, 1999. The Department of Renewable Sources of Energy (DNE), and KULIMA, an experienced NGO, were closely involved. The challenge posed by Marracuene is that the community is in the grips of serious poverty, and yet at present there are few interventions to address this social ill. The ProBEC integrated approach points to the need for sustained dialogue with stakeholders from other development sectors, to persuade them to develop and implement interventions in the same community, before starting activities in the field of biomass energy conservation.


Namibia is in the process of developing a national biomass energy management programme, and a steering committee, which is chaired by the Ministry of Minerals and Energy (MME), was formed to coordinate that exercise. The same steering committee is responsible for ProBEC as well.

A ProBEC demonstration project is planned for Oshakati District, which is in the north of the country. The Rural Awareness Programme (RAP) was identified as lead agency for the demonstration project. A participatory survey of the project area will be carried out, after which a project planning meeting will be held.

South Africa

During consultations with the interim steering committee, the Northern Province was identified as the demonstration project area for South Africa. Subsequently, an information and planning meeting was held in June 1999, with participants from about 30 organisations from both the government and non-governmental organisations attending. The culmination of that meeting was an agreement to search for the exact project region. Mutale district was proposed but the presence of other organisations addressing some priority problems of the communities was not quite evident. The demonstration project task team therefore met again in August and they short-listed five potential project sites. The final site selection will be done after these are visited and evaluated.


The steering committee took a critical approach to the development of a demonstration project concept because Zimbabwe has had considerable experience in household energy projects. It became clear that the ProBEC demonstration project needed to recognise and build on past experiences, and avoid the repetition of investigations that have been concluded already.

In August 1999, Hurungwe District was chosen to be the project area. The next step will involve half-day meetings with the households in the three targeted villages of Hurungwe to inform them in detail about ProBEC, what is offers, potential BEC measures that could be implemented and the necessary planning steps. The key cooperating partner in Hurungwe will be the Social Forestry Project.

Regional Energy Master Plans - A Promising Approach for Household Energy Projects -

Dipl.-Ing. Benjamin Jargstorf, FACTOR 4 ENERGY PROJECTS, Addis Ababa

The GTZ household energy project's execution in Sgal: 'Projet Sgalo-Allemand Combustibles Domestiques' (PSACD) started in 1996.1 One of its components intends to use the planning instrument energy master plan for the identification of suitable household energy measures. This article describes the rationale behind this approach, presents first results and gives first clues for further practical steps to be taken.

General approaches to household energy projects/energy master plans

Past experience shows that household energy (HE) shortages can only be addressed adequately when taking into account the social, economic, cultural and political framework. Energy master plans are widely applied for developing medium and long-term (national, regional, communal) energy policy strategies. In developing countries, they have proven successful when their elaboration involves political decision-makers as well as the concerned population and other stakeholders. In general, the basic options for HE measures: energy saving, efficiency and substitution, also constitute the core of the practical measures derived from energy master plans. Working on a master plan, with the direct intention of identifying HE measures, thus allows an easier integration into other (existing or planned) projects, raises the awareness of the implementing agencies and, simultaneously, supplies the data needed for project planning.

Basically, energy master plans can be grouped in two categories:

· the commercial approach, when the master plan aims at identifying project components primarily among the more well-off stratum of society, where new and improved energy technologies can be paid for and have a relatively short pay-back period.

· the basic needs approach, where an energy master plan - typically in rural areas - starts off from a definition of the minimum energy needs of the majority of the population and tries to find ways to supply these basics. Since the buying power of the target groups is extremely limited, commercial components are rare when designing project measures.

These two categories also apply for practical HE projects - therefore, selecting one of these approaches for an energy master plan will generally determine the character of the HE measures and the type of projects where the measures can be integrated.

The regional energy master plan for Kaolack Town

In selecting a town of some 220,000 inhabitants as region for the energy master plan, the decision for the commercial approach is automatically implied. The town of Kaolack is believed to be representative for a number of Senegalese provincial capitals. The energy master plan for Kaolack comprises three major steps: 1. A household energy survey; 2. Data collection as a basis for an input/output analysis for all forms of energy; 3. Elaboration of a short and medium-term energy supply concept, involving regional and national administrative bodies.

Since household energy is a priori the major aspect of the master plan, data collection and evaluation are drastically reduced when compared to a full-sized regional energy master plan which places equal importance on all forms of energy.2

Kaolack-city, as a regional capital with a large market which handles practically all biomass fuels, is expected to constitute an ideal stage for the demonstration of energy saving cooking devices, especially in the fields of households, restaurants and small-scale industry. Should the regional energy master plan achieve practical results in the field of HE measures as expected, further master plans in other Senegalese townships like St. Louis are planned.

Results of the household energy survey in Kaolack

During the energy survey in June and July 1998 one out of 25 households were evaluated, as well as many of the officially registered enterprises, such as restaurants, bakeries, foundries etc..3 A very thorough questionnaire was used. In addition, detailed interviews were carried out with 15 % of the town's officially registered fuel wood and charcoal merchants.

Household Survey

54 % of all interviewed households use primarily charcoal, 28 % wood and 18 % liquid petroleum gases (LPG), while less than 0.5 % use primarily animal dung as their primary fuel. The typical family in Kaolack has a total of 10.9 family members.

With 80 % of the total energy, the vast majority of household energy is used for cooking purposes, followed by tea-making with 9 %. For the latter, as well as for pressing and incense burning, charcoal is used practically exclusively. The annual per capita consumption varies according to fuel type and is highest, at 90 kgoe (kg oil equivalent) for the households which burn wood exclusively, and lowest for the LPG-only households (30 kgoe). The statistical average lies at 77 kgoe per capita, a relatively low figure, when compared to other regions of Senegal and West Africa.

While the costs for households using mainly the traditional fuels, charcoal and wood, are more or less the same - in the range of 6,500 FCFA per capita and year -those running on LPG only, have considerable lower fuel costs, about 5,000 FCFA per head and year (see Figure 1). LPG has grown increasingly popular amongst town dwellers in Senegal recently, the more so, when its vending price was subsidised by the government by as much as 50 %. Recently the subsidy decreased to 25 % in 1999 and will be totally abolished till 2001.

Commercial Survey

According to the results of this survey, 8 % of Kaolack's primary energy is consumed in the commercial sector, with 69 % for charcoal, 23 % for wood and 7 % for LPG. By far the largest consumers are the street restaurants, Gargotes, and coffee shops, Tangana which utilise two thirds of all primary energy, most of it being charcoal. The highest specific energy consumption, and the largest potential for savings of traditional fuels, however, is observed with the pottery kilns, where rather modest measures, such as insulation of kilns, better furnaces etc., would result in reduced fuel consumption.

On-going work of data collection

Data collection for the energy input/output analysis started in 1998; first results are presently expected. Apart from general socio-economic and demographic data, a set of energy figures is collected, comprising: energy consumption according to sector (households, industry, transport etc.) and energy demand and supply according to fuel type, season and price structure. This includes figures of how much fuel wood and charcoal can be sustainably produced in surrounding forest areas. In addition, the regional availability of renewable energy (solar and wind) will be taken into consideration, even though its contribution to the HE sector may be limited in the short and medium term.

The data will be evaluated jointly with the concerned administrative bodies of Kaolack and/or with other regional projects which are concerned with energy problems. By this, an early integration of identified measures into existing programmes and structures is expected.


The combination of energy master plans with HE measures seems a logical one - especially when the regional master plan comprises a relatively small area with clearly defined system boundaries, such as a township. Since the basic of the on-going elaboration of the regional energy master plan for Kaolack constitutes a thorough household energy survey, it is expected that further work for this master plan will identify suitable HE measures which can be integrated into other on-going projects of the region.

Of special interest are the improving cross-linkages between the energy master plan of Kaolack and the new World Bank financed project PROGEDE which started work in 1998.

Figure 1 : Average costs per capita and fuel type (1000 FCFA = 1,5 Euro)


1. For more information, see the project's web site at

2. See B. Jargstorf, Factor 4 Energy Projects, “Sch d'Approvisionnement Energque Ronal (SAER) pour la Ville de Kaolack Plan de Dulement”, Dmbre 1998

3. The survey was conducted by a Senegalese team, headed by the consultant Ms. Ina Kersten from Institut fionelle Energieanwendung - IER of the University of Stuttgart, Germany, for details see “Rltats de l'Enqu sur l'Utilisation d'Energie a usage domestique et commercial a Kaolack, Sgal - Afrique de l'Ouest”, Dmbre 1998