Out stealing firewood
October comes over. The electricity prices headline the front page of your wallet. In the special offer counter of your local grocery store you spot vegan hot dogs, 40% off. They expire today. Perfect.
An active relationship with one's own energy consumption
Pack your rucksack. Persuade your family. Grefsenkollen? 45 minutes hike. Tops! Firewood? Find it in the forest.
Brenda Boardman put it so eloquently in the 90s. "We call energy poverty the inability of a household to obtain sufficient energy services with 10% of disposable income."
"That definition is nice, but maybe a bit flat?" Senior researcher Mikkel Vindegg settles down by the fire.
"My background dictates that I like a definition that is more context-dependent," he says, helping himself to a vegan grilled sausage.
What about: "Inability to provide the socially and materially necessary level of energy services in the home." Everyone nods appreciatively. Agreement.
He stands up and elaborates:
In Norway, we do not have this flexible view on the use of energy sources. We use electricity. Whatever the cost. Or do we? We use firewood in the fireplace. And charcoal in the grill for comfort during summer. And gas in the lighter, the primus, and in the irritatingly relaxing cabin that is off the grid.
The energy flexibility Mikkel observed during fieldwork in Dar-es-Salaam illustrates a more pragmatic view of energy poverty: You use the energy sources you can afford to use that day, and you have an active relationship with your own energy use.
Siddharth Sareen, associate professor at the University of Stavanger, mentions a third definition of energy poverty to Energy and Climate, namely: "Insufficient access to energy services in the home".
This means you may have to leave the house when the electricity budget is running low. Out to the forest. Hike to Grefsenkollen. Use the energy sources that suit the wallet. Grill sausages on an expiring date. Enjoy yourself in nature. Out stealing firewood.
4CImpacts - Universal Energy Access: Clean cooking and climate change impacts
Lack of access to clean cooking technology is the single largest environmental risk factor for disease and disability in countries relying on traditional biomass fuels for household energy due to household air pollution.
Adaptation | Air pollution | Health
Related research groups
Climate and society
In the Climate and society group, we do research on and for transformation processes towards a low-emission and climatically adapted society. In doing so, we analyze interactions between relevant processes and actors at different scales in order to produce high-quality research that is applicable for various societal actors.