Analysis of the energy access improvement and its socio-economic impacts in rural areas of developing countries

Makoto Kanagawa, Toshihiko Nakata

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124 Citations (Scopus)


Access to modern energy is one of the most basic requirements for development. In rural areas of developing countries, there are a large number of people who do not have access to LPG and depend on traditional biomass such as wood, crop, and dung for cooking. In addition, energy has numerous and complex links with poverty reduction. Therefore, it is important to estimate the impacts of energy access improvement on socio-economic situation in the rural areas of developing countries quantitatively. This study focuses on socio-economic impacts of cooking demand through changes in stoves adopted by the rural households. We have developed an energy-economic model of rural areas in India to analyze the links between energy, income, and health hazard, applying both opportunity cost for using fuelwood and exposure to Resipirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). As a result of the analysis, there is a positive relation between the opportunity cost and the average RSPM exposure of women in the rural areas. Following to increase in the opportunity cost, that is, income, the cost of an improved wood stove becomes relatively lower first than that of a traditional wood stove, and then a gas stove attains price competitiveness. It is achieved that the average RSPM exposure is below the WHO and Japanese criteria for Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), 190 and 100 [μg/m3], at the opportunity cost of US$9 and 15/GJ, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr 20


  • Developing country
  • Energy access
  • Energy poverty
  • RSPM exposure
  • Rural area


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