chapter  1
16 Pages

Requirements for Energy in the Rural Areas of Developing Countries

WithRoger Revelle

One of the energy units tabulated in United Nations statistics are kilograms or tons of coal equivalent, taking 7.5 million kcal as the energy in a ton of "standard" coal. There is a paradox of energy in the rural areas of developing countries. Both too little energy and too much energy are used, and the basic problems are to find ways to provide more energy and at the same time to conserve energy. Non-domestic uses are more than twice as large as domestic uses in northern rural Mexico because agriculture has been modernized. In contrast, energy use for cooking in the rural areas of developing countries is higher than in many United States households, because the energy is used very inefficiently. Fuel wood, for example, is burned partly in open fires and partly in inefficient mud or stone stoves. Rapid harvesting and seedbed preparation are necessary if two or more crops are to be grown per year.