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Current Energy Utilisation and Future Options in Rural Areas


Semere Habtetsion and Zemenfes Tsighe


Energy supply is a key factor in the economic and social development, but in many developing countries including Eritrea, the focus in the past was mainly on urban and industrial development. Little attention was given to the needs of rural households, farmers and small businesses. This lack of modern energy services in rural localities hindered people's efforts to move out of poverty and seriously constrained their ability to improve their living standards, or even to meet their subsistence needs. Rural households in Eritrea still derive 95% of their energy from biomass sources, 3% from kerosene and 2% from electricity compared to the national electricity access level of 20.7%.

The major objective of this study was to identify the options for the provision of modern energy services to low-income rural areas with special emphasis on the productive uses of energy in Eritrea. The issues addressed in the short-term study focus on the impact of the government's and utility's policies and programmes as well as the limitations of the institutional frameworks in the delivery of modern energy for domestic uses and income generating activities.

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