Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Kerosene subsidies slow transition to clean energy

12.04.2016

Reducing reliance on kerosene lighting would provide benefits but proves a stickier problem than previously thought, according to a new analysis focused on India.

Billions of people around the world rely on polluting and inefficient kerosene lamps for household lighting. Yet transitioning away from kerosene and reducing the associated impacts is more complicated than simply supplying an electricity connection, since many families supplement unreliable or inadequate electric lights with kerosene lamps, according to the study, which was published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.


(cc) Flickr user bluelotus92

“Subsidies for kerosene persist despite a growing body of evidence that it poses health risks. These subsidies are also a financially inefficient way to provide a low level of energy service.” says Nicholas Lam, the study lead author. Lam is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois in the USA, and started the work as part of the IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP).

“We wanted to understand characteristics of families relying on kerosene and the benefits of its replacement, in order to propose better strategies for transitioning to cleaner alternatives.”

The study focused on India, because a high percentage of households there continue to use subsidized kerosene—380 million people used kerosene as their primary lighting source in India in 2011. According to the study, however, 64% of kerosene used for lighting is as a supplemental source on top of electricity, which means that simply increasing electricity access without improving reliability will make only a small dent in the amount of kerosene used.

Instead, the study shows that eliminating subsidies by 2030 could reduce kerosene use in the country by 97%, modestly improving health: such a reduction could avert between 270,000 and 300,000 disability adjusted life years, a measure of population health that refers to the number of years of life lost due to bad health, disability, or early death.

Phasing out subsidies would benefit the economy as well, since the present deadweight loss—a measure of economic inefficiency—of the subsidy is estimated at $200–950 million. The researchers point out that in order to maintain lighting access at the same time as reducing kerosene use, a rapid spread of affordable alternatives would be needed.

“Supplemental lighting is important—it makes it possible for people to study and work when they don’t have electricity or the electricity is unreliable. People use kerosene because it’s cheap and available, but this has adverse impacts for health and the environment.

The obvious solution is to shift subsides towards improving electricity reliability and cleaner lighting technologies,” explains IIASA researcher Shonali Pachauri, who worked on the study and advised Lam during the YSSP.

Reference
Lam N, Pachauri S, Purohit P, Nagai Y, Bates MN, Cameron C, Smith K. (2016). Kerosene subsidies for household lighting in India: what are the impacts? Environmental Research Letters. 11 (2016) 044014. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/044014

MSc Katherine Leitzell | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.iiasa.ac.at

Further reports about: Environmental Research IIASA Kerosene electricity

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
01.12.2016 | Technische Universität Graz

nachricht Tailor-Made Membranes for the Environment
30.11.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>