Publication - Measuring energy poverty in Mozambique: Is energy poverty a purely rural phenomenon?

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Measuring energy poverty in Mozambique: Is energy poverty a purely rural phenomenon?
Mendita A. Ugembe, Miguel C. Brito, Roula Inglesi-Lotz
Published in
March 2022
Mozambique is one of the largest energy producers in the Southern African Development Community. Substantial efforts have been undertaken in recent years to increase energy access for poverty reduction in the country, however, most efforts seem to be concentrated to rural areas ignoring the existence of urban energy poverty, and despite all the efforts made, almost 70% of the Mozambican population still lives without modern energy services. The study assesses the extent of energy poverty and the impact of the different dimensions of energy poverty in Mozambique using the multidimensional energy poverty index approach and Mozambican demographic and health surveys data for households. It concludes that Mozambique has improved from acute energy poverty in 2009 to moderate energy poverty in 2015. Increased inequalities, however, accompanied this improvement. Energy poverty is a rural and an urban phenomenon since 34% of urban households are energy poor, suggesting that energy poverty in the country is a problem of lack of access and a lack of capacity to afford energy services to fulfill basic needs. Therefore, coordinated political actions between the various economic sectors and policies that focus on meeting the population´s basic needs, on technical, financial, and infrastructural issues may upgrade the use of electricity and its impacts on human development. Finally, we propose changes to the method to highlight the relevance of productive uses of energy for energy poverty alleviation. We also suggest the introduction of energy affordability measures in the Multidimensional Energy Poverty Index framework to identify the causes of energy poverty.