Fuel and stove diversification in the light of energy transition and technology adoption theory
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In energy transition theory the dominant approach is the energy ladder model which emphasizes household’s income as major driver and implies a complete transition from one fuel to another. In reality, however, households diversify their energy consumption and utilize a variety of fuels simultaneously. Social, cultural and individual characteristics have been identified to play a crucial role in household’s fuel choice. Despite these notions, no alternative model has been developed for interpreting and understanding energy transition and associated technology adoption that incorporates these forces. This thesis proposes a framework illustrating the dependencies driving fuel and stove adoption and explaining the multiple fuel and stove approach whereas a second model pictures the process of adoption by households. The underlying assumption of these frameworks - the intended task’s nature and context determine stove and fuel choice and that hence the multifaceted demands of the households are the major driver fuel diversification - has proven to be the case for the particular study area in three regions in Kenya. Most households own and use a variety of different fuels for a particular task but have in every case a preference for a particular one. Energy security was often stated to be an important reason for such fuel diversification. However, context and situation of the fuel and stove use was much emphasized to shape the stratum of potential fuels and stoves and proves the assumption of task dependency. Households strive to be prepared for every situation and context where different fuels have to be applied. The effect of income was found to be rather about the quantity of energy consumed and not about its quality. Availability and access to a particular stove and fuel have been identified to play a much greater role. Cultural and traditional issues such as local cuisine are demonstrated to highly influence the stove and fuel choice while personality traits such as age or education were not found to be statistically relevant but are assumed to have a certain weight on household’s selection.
German Agency for International Cooperation