Traditional biomass (wood, charcoal, dung) in households accounts for roughly 90% of total primary energy use in Ethiopia; about 84% and 99% of urban and rural households, respectively, rely on biomass as their primary cooking fuel. Heavy use of biomass, both as fuelwood and as charcoal (in urban and peri-urban areas), is associated with deforestation, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Using the LEAP model, two alternative household energy scenarios in Ethiopia were designed and investigated: moderate shift and high shift towards efficient biomass use. Under the moderate shift scenario, the primary effect is that urban households shift significantly towards electricity and away from charcoal, while rural households switch to improved wood cookstoves. In the high shift scenario, more households switch to efficient stoves and there is also some use of biogas in rural areas and bioethanol in urban areas.
In the baseline scenario, biomass demand doubles by 2030 compared with 2010. In the moderate and high shift scenarios, biomass use decreases by 53% and 67%, respectively, compared to the baseline case. Significant health and environment benefits can be achieved if these scenarios are realized. Estimated GHG savings in 2030 from avoided land use change is 33–44 million tonnes CO2-equivalent, or 13-18% of the government’s targeted GHG reductions.
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