Investigating ecology and poverty dimensions of biomass use and energy access: methodological issues
Energy access, ecosystems health and poverty are deeply linked in areas where there is a heavy reliance on traditional biomass fuels. Attempts to improve access to modern energy can benefit from exploring these links and interactions, particularly effects on ecosystem services on which communities rely.
An ecosystems services approach offers a useful alternative to socio-economic or techno-economic approaches to the study of linkages between energy access and poverty. It can be used to evaluate different resource management and energy access alternatives, but requires an interdisciplinary approach encompassing a variety of methods and tools.
This discussion brief gives a brief overview of the basics of, and methodological issues relating to, three research methods that have been successfully applied in this area:
• Demand-side surveys
• Supply and value chain analysis
• Economic modelling of consumer choice