Accessibility to modern energy services is imperative in resolving numerous present-day global development issues which affect people’s socio-economic and physical well-being, plus, the potentiality of meeting the global goals of lessening carbon emissions. The absence of access, termed energy poverty in developing countries, has several key aspects: inaccessibility to electricity on demand, is one aspect. However, inaccessibility to modern (or clean) cooking fuels is another critical aspect. A cause and effect of households’ continuous heavy reliance on traditional (or solid) fuels. Despite over a third of the global population having this issue, this aspect of energy poverty continues to be a severe, yet overlooked development issue: particularly in developing countries. A review of literature shows that there are currently no empirical studies which quantify the sole relationship between the utilization of traditional energy fuels for cooking and/or heating and economic development. Thus, in this paper, we advance existing literature in multiple-folds. Firstly, we provide a review in an absent area of literature. Secondly, using the data from 46 sub-Saharan African countries, we provide empirical evidence of the impacts of the continued utilization of traditional fuels on economic development (employing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per Capita as variable). Following the establishment of a negative causal relationship running from traditional fuels use (solid) to GDP per capita, we provide an insight into policy implications. Finally, we comment on potential policy strategies.


Energy Vol 221

Ifeoluwa Garba, Richard Bellingham


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