In Tanzania, only 17% of the rural population has electricity at home and many people do their cooking over wood fires or using inefficient charcoal stoves.
Cooking fuelled by wood and charcoal is an important contributor to deforestation and is also a factor in respiratory disease - one of the biggest causes of death in developing countries [source: Multiconsult].
A switch to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-fuelled cooking can save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase welfare in developing countries, according to a new report co-written by Noragric's Lars Kåre Grimsby.
The report, produced on behalf of the Norwegian Agency for Development Coperation (Norad), concludes that a switch to LPG could contribute positively toward several of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs) including access to energy, climate action, health, and gender/equality (SDGs 7, 13, 3, and 5). Whilst not renewable, LPG is clean and has the potential to reduce the number of deaths caused by indoor pollution, say the authors.
The study is one of several areas of collaboration between NMBU's Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) and Multiconsult since the partnership kicked off a year ago. Noragric Master student Guillaume Quigley is an intern at the company, organized through the Department's internship course, and Multiconsult staff have been welcomed as guest lecturers on the NMBU study course Energy and Society.
Access to electricity is essential for economic development, environmental protection and improving people’s health [source: Multiconsult]. Multiconsult is addressing this through the development of Tanzania’s Rural Energy Master Plan, which aims to provide clean energy to rural areas by 2030. Lars Kåre Grimsby and NMBU Master student Carmen Mapis will contribute to the cooking energy component of this plan.
Both Multiconsult and Noragric are also involved in research into the security implications of the development of the renewable energy sector in Africa. This PRIO-led project aims to improve knowledge on the status of renewable energy in Africa and to identify how violent conflicts occur and ways to prevent and resolve them. This research is based in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, the latter to which Noragric professor John-Andrew McNeish will contribute.