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 Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>