Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

David W. Countryman


The significance of biomass energy in developing countries has increasingly attracted a great deal of attention. The basis of the interest in biomass energy is often considered to be the 1973 oil crisis, which, among other things, focused attention on renewable sources of energy. As a result of the crisis, it became apparent that traditional biomass fuels--firewood, charcoal, crop residuals, and cow dung--were the primary cooking and heating fuels for the majority of the population in developing countries, especially the rural and urban poor. The situation remains the same today, biomass fuels are the primary domestic fuels for the majority of the population in developing countries. However, the main reason for the growing interest in biomass energy in developing countries is the concern that, in these countries, biomass energy is in jeopardy because of the combined effects of increasing demand and diminishing supplies of the traditional fuels;This study examines the status of biomass energy in Zambia. In its current usage, the concept of biomass energy often implies woodfuel because woodfuel is the main biomass energy. This study develops an econometric model of household woodfuel demand and also evaluates the supply of woodfuel in Zambia;The study finds that there are significant sectoral differences in woodfuel demand between the rural and urban sectors. In the rural sector, inflation is by far the most significant determinant of household woodfuel demand. The coefficients on inflation are statistically significant at better than the one percent level and also have expected positive signs. In the urban sector, inflation is again by far the most significant determinant of woodfuel demand. However, in the urban sector, household income and woodfuel price are also significant determinants of demand. The coefficients on inflation, household income, and woodfuel price are all significant at better than the one percent level and have expected signs. The income elasticity of woodfuel demand is positive, suggesting that in the short-run, woodfuel is a normal good. However, the elasticity of woodfuel demand with respect to growth in investment is negative, indicating that long-run structural change in the economy reduces woodfuel demand.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Christopher Mupimpila



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

159 pages