Application of Mathematical Modeling in Comparative Analysis of Major Cooking Energy Sources in Umuahia

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O. S. Onwuka
B. N. Nwankwojike
E. A. Chike


A cost estimation model for predicting the cost associated with the use of different cooking energy sources was developed in this study and used for evaluating the major cooking energy sources in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.  The model which was developed using mechanistic approach to ensure its universal application accounted for efficiency of cooking stove, its salvage worth, operating/maintenance costs as well as the monetary value of the associated emissions. The cooking energy sources evaluated include firewood, wood-wood dust mix, charcoal, kerosene, electricity and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Result revealed wood-wood dust fuel mix as the most cost-effective cooking energy source (5.62/MJ) followed by LPG (9.06/MJ). However, controlled deforestation and reduced wood dust from modern wood processing equipment/techniques limit the availability of wood dust. Although, application of wood-wood dust, firewood, charcoal and LPG go with zero subsidy index, LPG attracted the least annual emission control cost of 0.06per unit energy generated among the energy sources compared. Kerosene which is mostly used by residents in Umuahia attracts more charges to both the citizens (9.85/MJ) and government (7.73/MJ) compared to LPG with respective cost components of9.00/MJ and 0.06. Despite the large subsidy on grid electricity (2.63/MJ), it is not readily available in this region and cannot be relied on for cooking. Thus, government should focus on developing policies that will ensure the optimal application of gas for cooking in this municipal. The model developed is therefore recommended for evaluating cooking energy sources in other regions so as to ensure effective energy policy formulation.

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