| Development in practice - Rural energy and development |
|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.