Diversification of energy use and energy
security
14. December 2010, Lars Kåre Grimsby
NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF LIFE SCIENCES
Energy related crises in developing countries from 70ties until now – why aren’t people adopting modern
energy services?
 The fuelwood crisis
 Indoor air pollution
 Fuelwood and gender
 Deforestation and climate change
 ’Energy poverty’ (MDGs)
= Intervention: improved stoves, modern energy services
=> Lack of adoption is interpreted as due to “transition
constraints”
Raju, S. (1954). Smokeless kitchens for the millions
Eckholm, E. P. (1975). The other energy crises: firewood
Leach, G. (1992). The Energy Transition
Modi, V., S. McDade, et al. (2006). Energy and the Millennium Development Goals
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Multiple fuel use a transition constraint
 ‘Urban households generally move up the energy ladder
as socio-economic conditions improve’
 Both wealthy and poor households in rural areas diversify
energy use rather than moving up the ladder
 Constraint to the energy ladder theory
=> Multiple fuel use may be a risk minimization strategy
Smith, K. R., M. G. Apte, et al. (1994). Air-pollution and the energy ladder in Asian cities
Masera, O. R., B. D. Saatkamp, et al. (2000). From linear fuel switching to multiple cooking strategies: A critique
and alternative to the energy ladder model
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Multiple fuel use at household level a strategy for
energy security according to IEA
 ‘Use of multiple fuels
improves energy security,
since complete dependence
on a single fuel or
technology leaves
households vulnerable’
 => Diversification of energy
use in households
considered a rational
strategy for securing energy
supply
OECD/IEA (2010). Energy Poverty: How to make modern energy access universal?
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Energy security and rural livelihood diversification
 Energy security - ‘the uninterrupted physical availability
at a price which is affordable, while respecting
environment concerns’ through ‘promoting diversity,
efficiency and flexibility’
 ’… increasingly diverse portfolio of activities and assets in
order to survive and to improve their standard of living’
IEA webpage: www.iea.org
Ellis, F. (2000). Rural livelihoods and diversity in developing countries
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Study household energy use in Siha district,
Tanzania
 Productive rural area
 Diverse livelihood activities
 Developed infrastructure
(roads, grid, fossil fuels)
 Much dissemination of energy
related information by
organisations
 Look at diversification of
energy use
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What’s cooking in a household - example
 The preferred fuel is firewood. Use it in the improved
stove. Reduce consumption during rainy season since
costs increase
 After harvest use maize cobs for some weeks to reduce
costs. Use the three stones since improved stove can not
take this fuel
 During rainy season, heat the home with charcoal stove.
Also use charcoal stove for preparing hard food some
times
 Generally use a kerosene stove for preparing hot water in
the morning since it is fast
 Sometimes use the sawdust stove for preparing long
simmering food. Sawdust is free, but you need a special
stove
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Diversifying energy use for energy security
 Availability of energy carriers vary, for example with
season. Diversification increases flexibility
 A diverse set of technology and energy carriers can allow
reduction of costs
 Different energy carriers and technologies are suitable
for different purposes
 A diverse set of energy carriers and technologies can
function as back-up
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The importance of light – an example
 Households connected to grid also have solar panels
 In the rainy season, solar panels are weak and there are
power cuts
 Switch to kerosene lamps, but that is expensive
 Use koroboi in kitchen because it is too dirty for light
bulbs and kerosene lamps
 Flashlights are used when power cuts and to see to the
animals
 Flash light on cell phone is used when out walking after
dark
 Candles are kept as backup
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More theoretical arguments for the rationality
behind diversification of energy use
 A diverse energy portfolio can increase both technical
and allocative efficiency of energy use in the household.
More rational use of resources
 Partial integration in the energy market can reduce
vulnerability to shock and perturbations since the
household can withdraw to use local resources outside
the market
 Operating in markets across scales (local to international)
can also reduce vulnerability. The household can switch
energy following cost and availability
Ellis, F. (1993). Peasant economics: farm households and agrarian developoment
“Efficient but poor” - Schultz, T. W. (1964). Transforming traditional agriculture
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How about storage to improve energy security?
 Diversification of energy use
– Common across various household-categories (livelihood
strategy, wealth, educational level)
 Storage of energy carrier to reduce vulnerability
– Few households store firewood for the rainy season
– Limited storage of kerosene and batteries for stoves and
flash lights
=> Storage as a strategy for improving energy security not
that common. Need not felt?
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New technology, new energy security?
 Willingness to pay for
energy for ’communication’
and communication devices
– Cell phone charged in kiosk,
1.2 USD/kWh
 Demand for communication
and entertainment may
increase demand for
electricity
= Household energy security
constantly redefined to
cater for new needs?
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Diversification of energy use for energy security
 New demands may extend
the boundaries of
’household energy security’
 A diverse energy regime
can be resilient to supply
shocks, but also to change
 Use of technological
interventions to improve
energy use might only take
place when the situation is
”suitable”
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