Ethiopia's Energy consumption is predominantly based on biomass energy sources. An overwhelming proportion (94%) of the country's energy demand is met by traditional energy sources such as fuel wood, charcoal, branches, dung cakes and agricultural residues. The balance is met by commercial energy sources such as electricity and petroleum. The most important issue in the energy sector is the supply of household fuels, which is associated with massive deforestation and the resultant land degradation. The increasing scarcity of firewood is compounded by Ethiopia's high population growth rate (Ethiopian Energy Policy, 1994).
Every year, another 200,000 hectares are destroyed: the rising consumption of firewood plays a crucial part in this. As the degree of deforestation increases, so does the amount of time spent predominantly by women and children searching for firewood also increases. This energy source, which even the poorest of the poor are able to procure, is almost exhausted. Despite the scarcity of resources, firewood is burned very inefficiently in open fire places.
How LBNL is Addressing the Problem
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and World Vision Australia established an agreement to launch a pilot project distributing fuel-efficient stoves to Ethiopian households working with World Vision Ethiopia. This project is co-funded in by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and is exploring opportunities to design and test fuel-efficient cookstoves specific to the cooking conditions in Ethiopia, and prepare the groundwork to pay for large scale dissemination of these stoves through Clean Development Mechanism compliant carbon financing. The ultimate goal is to make the efficient stoves program financially self-sufficient, benefiting the local and global environment. The 90% of Ethiopian households that currently use firewood for cooking also stand to benefit by reducing both their work load, in terms of collecting scarce firewood, and their exposure to indoor smoke.
In seeking an efficient wood-fired cookstove for this particular project, World Vision Australia and World Vision Ethiopia approached researchers at LBNL after learning of the Berkeley-Darfur Stove being disseminated in neighboring Sudan. For this project, the Berkeley-Darfur Stove has been modified from its original form, based on feedback from users in Ethiopia, to reflect cooking conditions specific to Ethiopian culture and cuisine and is referred to as the Berkeley-Ethiopia Stove.
This project is designing and implementing a pilot project to test the financial viability and technical feasibility of large-scale dissemination of Berkeley-Ethiopia fuel-efficient stoves using carbon credits through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The specific outcome of this project will be a template for large-scale CDM-compliant replication of the pilot through commercializing, disseminating, and monitoring emissions of 1,000 CDM-compliant Berkeley-Ethiopia Stoves in Ethiopia.
The nonprofit organization, Potential Energy, is laying the groundwork for the full launch of an Ethiopia Stoves Project following the completion of LBNL's pilot project.
Copyright 2017 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.