Fuelwood is still the main energy source in rural households. Dwindling fuelwood resources in many developing countries are both causing hardship to rural populations and contributing to damaging effects on the environment. In addition to improved efficiency of fuelwood combustion, it is recommended that fuel-substitution measures be adopted to reduce the role of fuelwood in favour of other fuels, such as LPG, kerosene and coal, as well as solar and wind energy schemes and, above all, electrification. It is further recommended that reforestation be a priority policy in developing countries.
A variety of processes are available for production of charcoal, with widely varying (25-70%) conversion efficiencies. The use of highly inefficient processes should be monitored, with a view to reducing their role in energy supply. At the s ame time, more efficient charcoal production and consumption technologies must be promoted and proper forestry management employed to mitigate the harmful environmental effects of fuelwood harvesting.
Much of the electricity consumption growth in developing countries, primarily in urban areas, is due to the increased use of household appliances. It is recommended that strategies be adopted to incorporate modern, energy-efficient technologies in household appliances, which are not likely to cost the consumer appreciably more.
Energy conservation in the housing and building sector can be improved through the adoption of appropriate building standards and codes that will help promote the use of suitable insulation, better structural design, more efficient air-conditioning, and similar features.