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Fuel Based Lighting

Kerosene Lamps

The energy sources of the poor are inefficient, polluting and unhealthy. Per unit of emitted light or heat, the poor pay higher prices than the rich, including the time they spend obtaining or collecting fuel. Kerosene lamps convert 65 per cent of their energy to light. A study in Pakistan showed that nearly 90% of poor households rely on biomass fuels for cooking and the majority use kerosene rather than electricity for lighting. (United Nations Population fund 2000)

Air Pollution

Kerosene lamps cause local and indoor air pollution - a nasty mix of particulates, carbon monoxide and carcinogenic gases. (World Health Organisation)

Smoke from kerosene lamps is responsible for respiratory infections, lung and throat cancers, serious eye infections, cataracts as well as low birth weights. Acute respiratory infections like influenza and pneumonia kill nearly 2 million children in developing nations each year, more than the annual number of all deaths at all ages from all causes in the European Union. (SELF Newsletter, 2002)

The World Bank estimates that 780 million women and children breathing kerosene fumes inhale the equivalent of smoke from 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Shockingly, two-thirds of adult female lung-cancer victims in developing nations are non-smokers. (SELF Newsletter, 2002)

Fire Danger

Kerosene and candles cause countless fire catastrophes every year. There were 282,000 deaths from fire-related burns worldwide in 1998, and 96% of these fatalities were in developing countries. In India alone, 2.5 million people (350,000 of them children) suffer severe burns each year, primarily due to overturned kerosene lamps. Each year, many homes burn to the ground when a lamp is toppled. (SELF Newsletter)

Barrier to Education and Production

Light from Kerosene lamps is poor and inefficient (only 2 to 4 lumen compared to a 60-watt bulb-900 lumen). Poor lighting affects literacy and education. The light from the lamps is so poor that children can only see their schoolbooks if they are almost on top of the flame, directly inhaling even more of the toxic smoke. Proper lighting can enhance the development process by enabling people to be more productive after the sun goes down. (SELF Newsletter)

Economic Cost

Thanks to low lamp efficiencies, lighting expenditures rival those seen by affluent households who enjoy the vastly higher levels of quality, safety, and services provided by electric light. Kerosene is far more expensive than electric lighting. Cost of useful lighting energy services ($/lumen hour of light) for kerosene lighting is 325-times higher than 'inefficient' incandescent bulb, and 1625-times higher than compact-fluorescent lighting. (Evan Mills, 1999)

Annual light consumption of un-electrified household (about 12000 lumen-hours) = light produced by a 100-watt incandescent bulb in 10 hours.

Within developing countries, national fuel-based lighting energy use can be on a par with that for electric lighting. One study noted that kerosene accounted for nearly 60% of the total energy requirement for lighting in India's household sector in 1986. (Evan Mills, 2002)

Kerosene is the most common type of fuel-based lighting. If we assume an un-electrified population of 2 billion (30% of the world's population) owns one lamp per six people/household. (In some cases one lamp is used throughout the night for security purposes)

One lamp consumes 0.04 to 0.06 litres per hour, and the daily usage at three to four hours. 1 litre of kerosene per week x $1.00 USD= $52.00USD/year.

96 billion litres of kerosene/year at a cost of $96 billion USD/year – is the estimated cost of kerosene in developing world. (assuming kerosene $1.00 USD/litre). In comparison, the total energy use (all sectors and fuels) in Austria, Sweden and in the UK is estimated at 38 billion litres. (Evan Mills, 2002)

The poor pay higher unit prices for energy in small amounts: items such as batteries, battery recharging, candles, kerosene and charcoal. A survey in Uganda showed that rural and urban families spend over $10 per month on candles, lighting, kerosene, dry cell batteries and recharging car batteries. More households in the country derive electricity from car batteries than are connected to the public power grid. (Evan Mills, 2002)

The escalating costs of providing energy drain money away from food, health services, housing, and other basic needs in poor countries

Oil import dependency is generally high in developing countries, and it drains valuable hard currency. Governments must often provide large subsidies to consumers. Subsidised kerosene intended for domestic lighting sometimes finds its way into vehicles, which creates additional environmental consequences. (Evan Mills, 2002)

As much as 90% of the export earnings of some developing countries are used to pay for imported oil, most of it for power generation. Capital saved by not building additional large power plants can be used for investment in health, education, economic development, and industry. (SELF newsletter, 2002)


We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.