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Energy Poverty Alleviation and Climate Change Mitigation: is There a Trade off?

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  • Shoibal Chakravarty

    (Princeton University)

  • Massimo Tavoni

    (Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC) and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM))

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    Abstract

    Energy poverty alleviation has become an important political issue in the most recent years. Several initiatives and policies have been proposed to deal with poor access to modern sources of energy in many developing countries. Given the large number of people lacking basic energy services, an important question is whether providing universal access to modern energy could significantly increase CO2 emissions. This paper provides one of the few formal assessments of this problem by means of a simple but robust model of current and future energy consumption. The model allows mapping energy consumption globally for different classes of energy use, quantifying current and future imbalances in the distribution of energy consumption. Our results indicate that an energy poverty eradication policy to be met by 2030 would increase global final energy consumption by about 7% (or 19EJ). This is the same quantity of energy which would be added between now and 2030 by individuals with energy consumption above current European standards. The additional energy infrastructure needed to eradicate energy poverty would produce 16-131 GtCO2 over the 21st century and contribute at most 0.1C of additional warming.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2013.25.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.25

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    Keywords: Energy Poverty; Climate Change; Household Energy Consumption;

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    1. Catherine Wolfram & Orie Shelef & Paul Gertler, 2012. "How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 119-38, Winter.
    2. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Griffiths, William E. & Rao, D. S. Prasada, 2007. "Estimating and Combining National Income Distributions Using Limited Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 97-109, January.
    3. Ekholm, Tommi & Krey, Volker & Pachauri, Shonali & Riahi, Keywan, 2010. "Determinants of household energy consumption in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5696-5707, October.
    4. Pachauri, S. & Mueller, A. & Kemmler, A. & Spreng, D., 2004. "On Measuring Energy Poverty in Indian Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2083-2104, December.
    5. Kemmler, Andreas & Spreng, Daniel, 2007. "Energy indicators for tracking sustainability in developing countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2466-2480, April.
    6. Vera, Ivan & Langlois, Lucille, 2007. "Energy indicators for sustainable development," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 875-882.
    7. Mirza, Bilal & Szirmai, Adam, 2010. "Towards a new measurement of energy poverty: A cross-community analysis of rural Pakistan," MERIT Working Papers 024, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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