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Traditional Biomass Energy: Improving its Use and Moving to Modern Energy use (Pre-print version)


Stephen Karekezi, Kusum Lata and Suani Teixeira Coelho


Biomass energy is an important source of energy for the majority of the world’s population. The use of biomass energy is expected to increase in the near future, with growth in population. In many developing countries (particularly sub-Saharan Africa), traditional biomass energy dominates national energy statistics, leading to significant negative impacts on human health and the environment. There are, however, opportunities for developing improved and modern biomass energy technologies, which offer substantial benefits in terms of enhanced quality of energy services and reduction in negative health and environmental impacts. In addition, the sustainable harvesting of biomass resources is essential for ensuring the continued availability of this important energy source particularly for the world’s poor. 

This paper presents the global status of biomass energy use, as well as a range of plausible future biomass energy scenarios. It categorizes biomass energy use into three clusters, namely: traditional, improved and modern biomass. With special emphasis on developing regions (which rely on biomass to meet a substantial proportion of their energy needs), the paper proposes policy options targeted at increasing the further development and wider dissemination of improved and modern biomass energy

See Complete:
Thematic Background Paper on Traditional Biomass Energy

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