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The Potential for the Production of Bioenergy for Lighting and Cooking Using Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L. Euphorbiaceae) by Small Scale Farmers on the Kenyan Coast von Boerstler, Fritjof (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 13.10.2010
  • Verlag: GRIN Publishing
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The Potential for the Production of Bioenergy for Lighting and Cooking Using Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L. Euphorbiaceae) by Small Scale Farmers on the Kenyan Coast

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation from the year 2010 in the subject Geography / Earth Science - Economic Geography, grade: Cum Laude, RWTH Aachen University, language: English, abstract: The overall objective of this study is to examine the potential of introducing renewable biomass for a decentralized household energy provision in rural areas at the Kenyan South Coast. The main question posed in this research is whether the renewable products of an oil tree and related energy end-use appliances could potentially be a cheap, widely available and socially accepted substitute for kerosene and traditional biomass. The research data and results are based on a UNDP GEF SGP funded pilot project. The project was conceptualized by the author and implemented with local communities with support from the German Development Service (DED), the World Wide Fund (WWF) and various government institutions in Kwale District between 2006 and 2010. The first theoretical part of this study describes the negative socio-economic, environmental and health related impacts of the current household energy provision and energy use in Developing Countries (DCs). It becomes obvious that the households' strong dependency on kerosene and traditional biomass severely hampers the achievement of national and international development goals. The potentials and barriers when introducing renewable energy technologies (RETs) in DCs are presented by using selected project examples. The discussion emphasizes that not only economical, institutional and infrastructural factors contribute to the low dissemination rates of RETs in DCs but also the social acceptance by potential users. Finally the results from this investigation are used to discuss the current and future household energy provision in Kenya. The second part of the study elaborates on the possibility of sustainably introducing the oil tree Jatropha curcas L. as a bioenergy source to rural households. For that purpose the feasibility of introducing the Jatropha value chain on a community level was tested and analyzed by taking three crucial aspects into consideration; the tree's environmentally sound production (cultivation), the economic transformation (processing) of the seed material into usable fuel and socially accepted end-usage of the Jatropha products. In this context the UN-funded project served as a baseline for the data collection. After conducting a socio-economic survey among 137 households participating in the project, the introduction of a Jatropha value chain was analyzed in three chronological steps. [...]


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 312
    Erscheinungsdatum: 13.10.2010
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783640722174
    Verlag: GRIN Publishing
    Serie: Akademische Schriftenreihe Bd.V159624
    Größe: 17517kBytes
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The Potential for the Production of Bioenergy for Lighting and Cooking Using Jatropha (Jatropha curcas L. Euphorbiaceae) by Small Scale Farmers on the Kenyan Coast

1. Household energy consumption in Developing Countries

Energy is pivotal for all aspects in life and has therefore always been a central point of attention, especially in times of shortage and rising energy prices, global warming and the pursuit of energy security. Despite this importance, household energy services [1] in Developing Countries (DCs) have so far been given relatively little attention (GTZ, 2008; IEA, 2006; UNDP GEF SGP, 2006b).

Although oil provides the greatest quantity of energy, traditional biomass is still the widest used fuel per capita. While during the 19th century the population in Industial Countries (ICs) has gradually shifted from using biomass, to introducing coal and later petroleum, the majority of the population in DCs still heavily relies on biomass sources to cover their basic energy requirements (Odingo, 1981:103; UNIDO & REEP, 2008:7.20). The most important energy need in DCs is cooking, the oldest activity of mankind which also takes the biggest share of total primary energy consumed (IEA, 2008a:177; Kammen et al. , 2001:8).

Because traditional biomass is classified as a renewable source of energy one could argue from an energy perspective that households in DCs are 'greener' than households in most Industrialized Countries (ICs). If biomass is produced in a renewable manner and the combustion done in an efficient way then this might even be the case. However, traditional biomass, in particular woodfuel, is often not harvested sustainably and is used in low-efficient end-use appliances with negative economic and environmental impacts as well as severe health implications (Barnes & Floor, 1996; Goldemberg & Coelho, 2004; Smith, 2002). In this sense cooking in DCs is not only an essential need but also a 'chore and threat to lives' (WHO, 2006).

The other most important household energy need is lighting. Particularly for the rural as well as the urban poor population in DCs, lighting needs are rarely met by electricity from the national grid due to high costs for consumer and supplier. Fossil fuel based lighting in the form of kerosene has become the most common lighting source used by these households. Most of the DCs have to import the fossil fuel which poses a heavy economic burden on their foreign exchange as well as on the households' budgets. In turn the high kerosene prices as well as fluctuation in supply forces many households to reduce their lighting hours which has a negative impact on educational and economic activities.

The following chapters analyse the importance of biomass for cooking, and fossil fuel for lighting in rural and poor urban households in DCs and the effect on the environment, economy and health.

1.1 Biomass – cooking fuel for the poor

In view of climate change and energy insecurity, biomass is increasingly gaining importance as a renewable source for the generation of bioenergy on a global scale. However there are significant differences in its use between DCs and ICs. Many countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) primarily convert a variety of biomass into modern energy services [6] in a sustainable manner for commercial purposes (Parikka, 2004). In contrast, DCs use it most commonly to cover basic household energy needs in a largely unprocessed, inefficient and often non-commercial manner (Goldemberg & Coelho, 2004). Furthermore the use of biomass and other renewable energy sources in ICs is essentially driven by environmental factors supported by regulatory frameworks, while traditional biomass is the sole source of available energy for the survival of households in DCs and is generally poorly regulated (Jacobsson & Johnson, 2000:638

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