Biofuel Use and Fuelwood Collection Times in South Africa
Stephanie T. Waldhoff, University of Chicago
Although much is known about the deforestation associated with fuelwood use, few studies have examined the reasons consumers choose biofuels over cleaner, more efficient energy sources. This study uses the 1993 South African Living Standards & Measurement Survey to examine consumers' energy choices. The analysis is presented in two parts: (1) logistic regression analyzing predicted probabilities of household biofuel use and (2) OLS examining household time allocated to fuelwood collection. Logistic regression results demonstrate the significance of both village-level electric-grid connectivity and expenditures as predictors of biofuel use. OLS results show that household-level fuelwood collection times are negatively associated with village-level electric connectivity and positively associated with the number of adult females (age 10 and over). Policies intending to reduce pressure on forests by encouraging consumers to adopt more modern fuels must consider the constraints imposed on consumers by access and income while understanding the factors influencing household-level fuelwood costs.