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Traditional biomass energy consumption and the potential introduction of firewood efficient stoves: insights from western Tanzania

Hoffmann, Harry, Uckert, Götz, Reif, Constance, Müller, Klaus, Sieber, Stefan
Regional environmental change 2015 v.15 no.7 pp. 1191-1201
charcoal, cooking, energy, energy conservation, forests, fuelwood, household surveys, income, population growth, rural communities, villages, Tanzania
Having access to firewood and charcoal for cooking purposes is essential for the world’s poor. In this paper, we outline the consumption patterns of firewood and charcoal energy recorded at a specific south-western Tanzanian village (Laela) based on a household survey carried out in late 2010 (n = 160). We identify varying consumption rates among four relative income classes (rich, above average, self-sufficiency, below self-sufficiency). We furthermore simulate the effects of different dissemination levels (10, 25, 50, 100 %) for a specific type of efficient wood stove over the years 2010, 2015 and 2030, with a predicted increase in future energy consumption rates that correspond with population growth. Our findings suggest that energy consumption will increase until 2030. We also foresee excellent energy-saving potentials in different diffusion and adaptation scenarios. The limitations of the study as well as its developmental potentials are also addressed with one focus on the possible effects on local forests. The factors utilised and the results obtained are discussed and compared with other values drawn from the current literature. Furthermore, the pro-poor development potential is examined by using the energy-saving capacity of different dissemination/adaptation scenarios. Additionally, hurdles and hypothetical setbacks that may occur during the process of efficient stove dissemination are described. In sum, our findings highlight the need for efficient stove diffusion programmes to carefully incorporate weaker income classes within rural communities.