Surprises up the energy ladder

Pascale, Andrew, Chakravarty, Shoibal, Lant, Paul, Smart, Simon and Greig, Chris (2017). Surprises up the energy ladder. Energy and Poverty Research Group Working Paper Series 1, UQ Energy Initiative, The University of Queensland.

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Author Pascale, Andrew
Chakravarty, Shoibal
Lant, Paul
Smart, Simon
Greig, Chris
Title Surprises up the energy ladder
School, Department or Centre UQ Energy Initiative
Institution The University of Queensland
Series Energy and Poverty Research Group Working Paper Series
Report Number 1
Publication date 2017-03-16
Publisher The University of Queensland
Start page 1
End page 80
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Traditional discussions of the relationships between energy, CO2 emissions and human development capture between-country differences, but fail to expose within-country energy and CO2 emissions inequality. Household survey data offers researchers a window through which to better understand the unequal distribution of energy use and the Human Development Index (HDI) at a sub-national level. This study uses India Human Development Survey (IHDS) data [1, 2] to generate household consumption and emissions distributions for India in both 2005 and 2012, and consults the EORA global multi-regional input output database [3, 4] for sectoral intensities of India’s economy. The analysis uses HDI 2015 methodology [5].

Results indicate that non-solid fuel use patterns have changed little across India’s income deciles between 2005 and 2012; that total direct household energy use emissions (including non-commercial biomass but not including direct transport emissions) are surprisingly flat across both deciles and years analysed; and that indirect emissions represent the largest CO2 emissions growth area across deciles and study years. While emissions inequality has clearly increased between top and bottom deciles in the seven years between IHDS surveys, overall trends in HDI inequality between deciles are harder to identify.

Results suggest two main areas for consideration. Addressing energy poverty and pressing welfare issues connected to energy use in India, such as household air pollution from solid fuels [6], can be aided by an apparent emissions neutral transition to modern energy carriers. However, the wealth creation needed to sustain a transition out of energy poverty appears to be accompanied by indirect CO2 emissions growth, especially in the richest deciles. Addressing both of these challenges at the same time requires a coherent strategy that targets energy poverty and wealth creation in the poorest deciles while reducing the emissions intensity of the sectors – notably transportation – of the Indian and global economies supporting increasing household consumption.

Document type: Working Paper
Collection: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Created: Thu, 16 Mar 2017, 09:24:54 EST by Mr Simon Smart on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering