chapter  7
11 Pages

Urban Energy Use

The fuelwood problem in the cities and towns of the SADCC region is qualitatively different from that experienced in the rural areas. The fuelwood trap is still there, waiting to catch the unwary and it takes a variety of forms. First there is the temptation to assume that urbanization will automatically produce new patterns of energy consumption with modem fuels replacing traditional ones, hence no need for intervention. Higher cash earnings and urban lifestyles will lead consumers to purchase cleaner, more eff~cient, technologically superior and convenient sources of energy such as electricity, gas, coal and kerosene. Urbanization is the cutting edge of economic development and evidence to date indicates that it is associated worldwide with the transition to modem energy sources. Leach and Gowen point out that biofuels account for 60-95 per cent of total energy use in the poorest countries, 25-60 per cent in the middleincome countries, and less than 5 per cent in the high-income countries.