The Special Issue explores the type of decision frameworks that are needed to guide policy development for clean cooking fuels and to ensure that the provision of clean energy becomes a central component of sustainable development. Additionally, it presents a research agenda and an action agenda to facilitate the development and adoption of cleaner cooking fuels and technologies and analyses why past programs to improve access to clean cooking fuels have succeeded or failed.
Universal access to clean energy is a stated goal of the United Nations and is a key entry point for reducing emissions of black carbon and other particulates - known to negatively impact the climate. The scale of the issue and opportunity to minimise emissions through adoption of clean cooking fuels and stoves was highlighted in a new report from the UN Environment Program released on Friday 25th November and will be a focus of discussions at the UNFCCC climate talks commencing in Durban today.
While the use of biomass for cooking is in itself not a cause for concern, it is the unsustainable harvesting and dirty and inefficient burning of the wood that inhibits social and economic development, harms the environment, and takes a significant toll on human health. Latest estimates from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) indicate that in 2005, over 2 million people, mostly woman and children, died prematurely due to household air pollution – soot and other particles that are emitted when biomass is burned indoors in poorly ventilated environments.
“The collection and burning of woody biomass to cook food has consequences on many levels,” says co editor of the Special Issue and a lead author Shonali Pachauri from IIASA. “It traps women [in particular] in poverty as they must devote much of their time to wood collection. It affects the environment and climate due to deforestation and the emission of black carbon and greenhouse gases that result from burning, and tragically it is costing the lives of many woman and children in the developing world, predominantly in India, sub-Saharan African nations and China.”
The articles presented in the Special Issue consider the options for transitioning the nearly 2.7 billion people globally who are reliant on traditional biomass fuels to cleaner cooking fuels, such as LPG, biogas, ethanol and biodiesel, as well as electricity. “Much of the emphasis to date has been on increasing access to electricity, which while important may be too slow a path and may not address cooking energy needs (electricity is rarely used for cooking in many developing countries). Providing improved cooking stoves to households will have an immediate positive impact on people and the environment.
The issue presents new research findings on many issues associated with resolving the challenge of improving access to clean fuels and cookstoves including; how to measure and monitor energy poverty; an evaluation of the health and climate benefits of cookstove replacement options; how to improve the likelihood of adoption and sustained use of cleaner cooking stoves and fuels, and a cost - benefit analysis of reducing indoor air pollution. The research draws strongly on case studies conducted in India, Nepal, Kenya, Sudan, Indonesia and Mexico.
The issue also refers to several significant and recent initiatives established to raise awareness and improve access to clean cooking options and explains why they may or may not succeed. One example is the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an international program established in 2010 with a goal of equipping 100 million homes with clean cooking stoves and fuel by 2020. The program is based on the idea that carbon credits will encourage the adoption of clean cooking stoves. However, experience to date suggests that only international players with good contacts to international institutions will be able to access this money. This raises questions about how likely the program is to be adopted and persist at the community level, but also raises the more important issue of how business and the policy communities must work with communities to facilitate change.
The articles included in this Special Issue reflect discussions that were held at an Istanbul Workshop in 2008 as part of the annual conference of the International Association for Energy Economics. Participants included the public and private sector as well as NGOs and donor organizations representing Asia, Africa and OECD countries. The Workshop brought energy economists and policy makers together to better understand the knowledge deficit when it comes to overcoming energy poverty and the enormous opportunities for the business, research and international development communities to work together to overcome this pervasive and harmful issue.
Universal access to clean energy remains a key goal of organizations like the United Nations and is a significant impediment to attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals. It is also key to achieving other global objectives with regards to climate change mitigation and ecosystem management. The research presented in this issue helps to inform how to achieve access for all.
http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Admin/INF/PR/2011/2011-11-28.htmlFull bibliographic information
Leane Regan | alfa
Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent
25.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy