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Energy demand, poverty and the urban environment in Jordan

Applied Energy
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0306-2619(00)00054-4
  • Jordan
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Air Quality
  • Urban Households
  • Agricultural Science
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


Abstract This paper presents some insights into the prime problems of energy and related environmental issues as well as urbanisation in Jordan. The country has very limited natural resources: water is scarce; arable land is limited; and fossil-fuel sources are few. Moreover, the population is increasing rapidly. Hence, problems are arising. During the last 30 years, the country has experienced vast changes in its infrastructure with respect to the housing, urbanisation, commerce, agriculture and industry. Such developments have led to increasing demographic stresses: unemployment has increased and poverty is experienced by more than half of the population. The pressures have resulted in a high percentage of the population moving from rural to urban areas and so society is becoming less self-sufficient. At present, energy consumption in the residential sector accounts for about one quarter of the kingdom's fuel consumption. Kerosene, bottled LPG, diesel fuel and electricity are the main forms of energy used by households, but kerosene is still the dominant fuel because about 83% of households depend on it for space and water heating. The use of open fires and/or portable stoves has led to an increasing number of people being killed each year by suffocation or suffering health problems due to the inhalation of fumes and gaseous pollutants. Thus a national plan to achieve energy thrift and protect the environment, as well as accomplish the more rational utilisation of the limited natural resources available, is urgently needed and should be enacted soon.

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