Abstract for: Modeling the Dynamics of the Energy, Environment, & Poverty Nexus: A Study of Biogas Unit Diffusion in Andhra Pradesh, India

In this paper, we use system dynamics modeling to look at the broad set of socio-economic and ecological factors which together play a role in determining a household’s decision to adopt a biogas plant. Informed by data we collected during the summer of 2008 with the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) in Andhra Pradesh, India, and with corroboration from the relevant technology diffusion and energy transition literature, we model the process of biogas adoption and traditional technology replacement. We find that only by improving biogas interventions to address this complex interplay of energy, environment, and poverty-related factors, notably household usage of a multiple-stove strategy and the incapacitation of the poorest households, can an intervention realize desired outcomes around both human and ecological wellbeing. We conclude with a discussion of model applications for both FES and the broader rural development community.