Energy is vital for social and economic development. However, there are currently two billion people worldwide without access to electricity and a further two billion are dependent upon traditional fuels (wood, animal and crop waste) for cooking and heating. Among many concerns, dependence on these traditional fuels results in respiratory disease due to indoor air pollution; reduced productivity as several hours are spent daily gathering wood, primarily by girl children and women; land and forest degradation; limited quality of life and constrained income generating activities. Despite efforts over the last decade to deliver energy services to poor and rural communities, this situation has improved little. By 2020 another 400 million people (or 25% of new population) will also be denied access to modern energy.

RURAL ENERGY NEEDS

Energy is vital for social and economic development. However, there are currently two billion people worldwide
without access to electricity and a further two billion are dependent upon traditional fuels (wood, animal and
crop waste) for cooking and heating. Among many concerns, dependence on these traditional fuels results in
respiratory disease due to indoor air pollution; reduced productivity as several hours are spent daily gathering
wood, primarily by girl children and women; land and forest degradation; limited quality of life and constrained
income generating activities. Despite efforts over the last decade to deliver energy services to poor and rural
communities, this situation has improved little. By 2020 another 400 million people (or 25% of new population)
will also be denied access to modern energy.

Delivering access to modern energy sources such as LP.Gas can strengthen the three pillars of sustainable
development: the economy by boosting productivity; social welfare by improving living standards and enhancing
safety; and the environment by reducing indoor and outdoor pollution. The U.N. Human Development Index1
provides insight into this important correlation, showing that the increased use of modern energy and electricity is
a prerequisite for continued economic development and improved quality of life, particularly for developing
countries. However, poor people don’t cook with electricity. In the view of the United Nations Development
Programme, providing electricity without providing heat (cooking fuel) will not reduce poverty in rural areas.