As reducing firewood intensity per household and increasing the uptake of LPG is central to the energy policy agenda of Ghana, firewood collection, consumption practices and barriers to the uptake of modern fuels among rural households in Ghana were investigated. An interview-based questionnaire was administered to 540 rural household heads in 32 communities in four different ecological zones. Whereas the ecological location of households was the most significant factor influencing daily firewood consumption per capita, the effect of household size on firewood consumption was ecological location dependent. The propensity for small households to adopt modern fuels such as LPG is greater than the larger ones. Females were found to collect firewood from sites farther away from their homestead suggesting that rural females are burdened when there is firewood scarcity and this could compromise their ability to engage in income generating activities. The heating values of the most firewood species used by households were in the range 14.79MJkg–1–18.75 MJkg–1. Cost, accessibility, and safety were the major barriers to modern fuels uptake. Rural energy policy should thus respond to these barriers by enforcing regulations and improving supply and distribution networks of LPG.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2