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Bio-Based Energy, Rural Livelihoods and Energy Security in Ethiopia

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Dawit Guta

This study explores issues of biomass energy use in relation to household welfare and it assesses Ethiopia’s future energy security with a focus on long-term model of the energy sector, and institutional arrangements required for decentralized energy initiatives. Data from Ethiopian rural households reveal negative welfare effects associated with traditional biomass energy utilization, while increases in the opportunity cost of fuelwood collection is associated negatively with allocation of labour to agriculture and fuelwood use. It appears that investment on integrated energy source diversification improves sustainability and resilience, but increases production cost. Innovations that improve alternative sources reduce production cost, improve energy security, and thus serve as an engine of economic growth.
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Chapter Four: Institutional arrangements, collective actions, and national strategy options for decentralised clean energy generation and use in remote communities of Ethiopia

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Chapter Four

Institutional arrangements, collective actions, and national strategy options for decentralised clean energy generation and use in remote communities of Ethiopia

4.1.   Introduction

Econometric approaches and a mathematical model were presented in Chapter Two and Chapter Three respectively to examine issues related to biomass energy use, both from a household perspective and within the context of the nationwide energy sector. Various issues related to integrated agroforestry, the sustainable use of renewable energy resources, technological and efficiency innovation, and energy substitution were mentioned. A comprehensive energy diversification and substitution effort should seek to develop sustainable renewable energy in a way that helps to address the energy crisis, foster poverty reduction, promote green economic growth, improve local livelihoods, and support forest restoration.

The energy crisis in rural Ethiopia is complex despite the fact that the country is endowed with a diversity of abundant renewable energy resources. This is because community level efforts to tap their existing resource potential have been hindered by the lack of technical, infrastructural, and economic resources. For bridging the gap between supply and demand with sustainable and affordable energy, increasing attention has been given to decentralized approaches.

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