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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

The role of forest status in households' fuel choice in Uganda

Gebru, Bahre; Elofsson, Katarina


In this study, we investigate how households' choice of energy source is influenced by the status of the local forest resource. We assume that households choose between clean fuels (e.g., kerosene, LPG, solar, and elec-tricity), dirty biobased fuels (e.g., firewood, animal dung, crop residues, and charcoal), and mixed fuels. We integrate socioeconomic data with high-resolution satellite data on forest conditions from the Uganda National Panel Survey. The findings from a random-effects multinomial logit model indicate that households in vegetated areas are 6-7% less likely to rely solely on dirty biobased fuels, and 6-8% more likely to use mixed fuels, compared to those in non-vegetated areas. A larger forest stock is more strongly associated with lower use of firewood than charcoal. A possible explanation for the findings is the presence of policies for forest conservation and enhanced forest property rights, which improve forest conditions and limit opportunities to collect firewood. Given households' dependence on forest-based fuels, such policies could need to be modified to secure house-holds' access to these fuels.


Fuel choice; Forest status; Random-effects multinomial logit; Policy; Satellite data; Uganda

Published in

Energy Policy
2023, Volume: 173, article number: 113390

      SLU Authors

      • Elofsson, Katarina

      Sustainable Development Goals

      Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
      Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Forest Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)