Energy and Poverty

Energy and Poverty are obviously tied together.

“Access to cleaner and affordable energy options is essential for improving the livelihoods of the poor in developing countries. The link between energy and poverty is demonstrated by the fact that the poor in developing countries constitute the bulk of an estimated 2.7 billion people relying on traditional biomass for cooking and the overwhelming majority of the 1.4 billion without access to grid electricity. Most of the people still reliant on traditional biomass live in Africa and South Asia.

The relationship is, in many respects, a vicious cycle in which people who lack access to cleaner and affordable energy are often trapped in a re-enforcing cycle of deprivation, lower incomes and the means to improve their living conditions while at the same time using significant amounts of their very limited income on expensive and unhealthy forms of energy that provide poor and/or unsafe services.”

http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/Flagship-Projects/Global-Energy-Assessment/GEA_Chapter2_development_hires.pdf

The moral of this is very clear. Where energy is scarce and expensive, people’s labor is cheap and they live in poverty. Where energy is reliable and cheap, people are paid well to workl and they have a better life.

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