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 Nano-scale process may speed arrival of cheaper hi-tech products
09.11.2018 | University of Edinburgh

nachricht Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of 'burning plasmas'
25.10.2018 | Lehigh University

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>