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Rural household preferences for cleaner energy sources in Pakistan

Imran, Muhammad, Özçatalbaş, Orhan, Bakhsh, Khuda
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.22 pp. 22783-22793
adults, affordability, biofuels, biomass, children, clean energy, educational status, energy, females, household income, households, human health, markets, models, probability, rural population, rural women, Pakistan
Dependence of rural population on traditional fuel sources namely biomass has increased because of easy accessibility and affordability. The use of biomass fuels results in many environmental and health-related hazards. Rural households have little awareness about the ill effects of using biomass energy sources. This study investigated the patterns of rural household energy use and identified the role of information on the effects of biomasses on human health, in addition to other factors influencing households’ choices of energy sources. For this purpose, primary data from 196 households were collected from four districts of the Punjab province in Pakistan. Results showed that use of clean energy sources was limited to basic appliances and 90% of the respondents depended on biomass fuels. Estimates of the multivariate probit model showed that awareness about adverse impacts of biomass fuels as energy sources were significantly related with the choice of energy sources. Further, household head’s education level, household income, landholding, children under the age of 5 years and higher number of adult females were significantly related with the cleaner energy source choices. Distance to market increased the probability of the use of biomass energy sources. The study concluded that awareness campaigns regarding the benefits of using clean energy sources should be launched through print and electronic media while targeting rural women.