The Urban Household Energy Transition: Social and Environmental Impacts in the Developing World, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Urban Household Energy Transition

Social and Environmental Impacts in the Developing World, 1st Edition

By Douglas F. Barnes, Kerry Krutilla, William F. Hyde


142 pages

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As cities in developing countries grow and become more prosperous, energy use shifts from fuelwood to fuels like charcoal, kerosene, and coal, and, ultimately, to fuels such as liquid petroleum gas, and electricity. Energy use is not usually considered as a social issue. Yet, as this book demonstrates, the movement away from traditional fuels has a strong socio-economic dimension, as poor people are the last to attain the benefits of using modern energy. The result is that health risks from the continued use of wood fuel fall most heavily on the poor, and indoor pollution from wood stoves has its greatest effect on women and children who cook and spend much more of their time indoors. Barnes, Krutilla, and Hyde provide the first worldwide assessment of the energy transition as it occurs in urban households, drawing upon data collected by the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP). From 1984-2000, the program conducted over 25,000 household energy surveys in 45 cities spanning 12 countries and 3 continents. Additionally, GIS mapping software was used to compile a biomass database of vegetation patterns surrounding 34 cities. Using this rich set of geographic, biological, and socioeconomic data, the authors describe problems and policy options associated with each stage in the energy transition. The authors show how the poorest are most vulnerable to changes in energy markets and demonstrate how the collection of biomass fuel contributes to deforestation. Their book serves as an important contribution to development studies, and as a guide for policymakers hoping to encourage sustainable energy markets and an improved quality of life for growing urban populations.


'A very thorough, useful, and interesting piece of work that will be a defining piece in the field. The authors have collected critical information and presented it well so that others may use this for policy purposes for decades to come.' Jesse C. Ribot, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Table of Contents

Urban Household Energy, Poverty, and the Environment The Urban Energy Transition Household Fuel Choice and Consumption Energy and Equity: the Social Impact of Energy Policies The Urban Energy Transition and the Environment The Energy Transition in Hyderabad, India: a Case Study Toward More Effective Urban Energy Policies

About the Authors

Douglas F. Barnes is a senior energy specialist in the Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) at the World Bank. Kerry Krutilla is an associate professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. William F. Hyde is a senior associate of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia, a visiting professor at the Environmental Economics Unit of Göteborg University in Sweden, and an adjunct professor at the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General