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Working Paper 227


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Most of the capital cities in Africa are growing fast due to a demographic shift from rural to urban areas. The shift has led to an increase in various economic activities, which constitute the informal sector. These activities have led to a demand for modern energy services, which have not been fully established. Energy use has majored on bio fuels that are not environmentally friendly. The urban poor energy consumption has increased leading to energy-related environmental problems, either directly or indirectly. Provision of efficient and affordable energy is required to improve performance in the informal sector and also help reduce negative environmental impacts like deforestation, emission of fossil fuel and flooding of valuable agricultural land notwithstanding occupational and health hazards.

In achieving this, major emphasis should be placed on the household sector by provision of efficient stoves that save on bio fuels and also reduce in-house pollution in addition to implementing a demand side management to help save on electricity in the few electrified households. The transport sector, major consumer of fuel and also a source of pollution, can be improved by implementing policy instruments that control fuel consumption habits and introduce alternative fuels like natural gas. The informal sector, being an energy intensive sector, needs to be involved in the provision of modern clean energy. This report starts by analysing the various urban and environmental problems, which are associated with lack of modern affordable energy and identifies ways of minimising these effects. It brings out energy patterns associated with urbanisation and captures the local, national, regional and global impacts of energy use in urban areas, highlighting the effects of non-modernised energy in the household and transport sectors and the environmental effects of using such bio fuels. Lastly, the paper presents viable energy options that touch on the household and transport sector in addition to energy recovery options from urban waste. It creates awareness on the potential of the informal sector in offering modern technology in manufacture and distribution of low cost clean energy.  

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