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Worldwide, nearly 2.4 billion people use traditional biomass fuels for cooking and nearly 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity. Families who use biomass to meet their energy needs often use fuelwood, which is inefficient, emits harmful particulates into the air causing respiratory disease, and can lead to deforestation as villages surrounding lands bear for fuelwood needs. Moreover, the burden of collection firewood often falls on women and children, and in the case of the latter, sometimes at the expense of going to school.

In the MV Sim, fuelwood is required for cooking unless the family owns a propane stove. If the family has upgraded from the default three-stone stove to an improved wood stove, then less firewood is required for cooking. The amount of fuelwood a family collects depends on the family's productivity, effort (person-hours dedicated to fuelwood collection), and the size of the forest. However, if there is a family quota in place, the family cannot collect more fuelwood than what the quota permits.

The size of the forest at any given time is equal to the size during the previous year, plus growth along a logistic curve, minus the amount harvested by the village the previous year.

Note: A family can collect more fuelwood than it needs for cooking, and sell the excess as charcoal in the town market.

Read more on the poor and energy at:
UN Millennium Project. "Energy Services for the Millennium Development Goals." 2005.