Cover Image
close this book Development in practice - Rural energy and development
close this folder Chapter two - The rural energy situation
View the document Effects of biofuel use by the poor
View the document Pollution and health
View the document Ecological damage
View the document Energy efficiency
View the document The transition to modern fuels

Chapter two - The rural energy situation


Approximately one-third of all energy consumption in developing countries derives from the burning of wood. crop residues, and animal dung (biofuels). By some estimates. it amounts to around 1,000 million tons of oil equivalent energy per year, more than three times the energy of the coal mined in Europe in a single year and twice the energy of the coal mined in the United States or China. Most of this energy is used in rural areas, which account for about 60 percent of the population of the developing world. or up to 70 percent in the low-income economies. Consumption of fuelwood and charcoal in urban areas is also large in many countries. and results in deforestation and environmental damage in the surrounding countryside. with fuelwood eventually having to be trucked over large distances. This is especially true in African countries. where the costs of distribution and of acquiring appliances often inhibit the use of gas and electricity.