Discussion Paper

Urban Energy Transition and Technology Adoption: The Case of Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia

Aug 23, 2010 | Zenebe Gebreegziabher, Alemu Mekonnen, Menale Kassie, Gunnar Kohlin

This was created in partnership with Environment for Development .


Dependency of urban Ethiopian households on rural areas for about 85 percent of their fuel needs is a significant cause of deforestation and forest degradation, resulting in growing fuel scarcity and higher firewood prices. One response to reducing the pressure on rural lands is for urban households to switch fuel sources (from fuelwood to electricity, for example) to slow deforestation and forest degradation and reduce indoor air pollution. However, such an energy transition is conditioned on the adoption of appropriate cooking appliances or stove technologies by the majority of users. This paperinvestigates urban energy transition and technology adoption conditions using a dataset of 350 urban households in Tigrai, in northern Ethiopia. Results suggest that the transition to electricity is affected by households adopting the electric mitad cooking appliance, which in turn is influenced by the level of education and income, among other things.