The State of the Global Clean and Improved Cooking Sector

June 25, 2015 · 0 comments

The State of the Global Clean and Improved Cooking Sector, 2015. ESMAP; Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

A. KEY FINDINGS The following section summarizes the key findings discussed fully in Chapters 1 through 7.

The Case for Clean and Improved Cooking
The global solid fuel population is large and access to clean and improved cooking solutions is limited. Approximately 40% of developing world households use clean fuels and cookstoves as their primary cooking solution, including modern fuels such as LPG and electricity; renewable solutions such as biogas, ethanol, and solar; and advanced biomass gasifiers stove technologies.1 Of the more than 2.85 billion people who rely primarily on solid fuels, less than one-third use improved cookstoves (ICSs) and even these households predominantly rely on basic ICS that have limited health and environmental benefits.

Reliance on solid fuels and inefficient and polluting cookstoves costs the world dearly. The midrange economic value of the health, environmental, and economic effects of solid fuel dependence is a staggering $ 123 billion annually ($ 22–224 billion), with multiple underlying effects:

• Economic: significant spending of $ 38–40 billion annually on solid fuels for cooking and heating, of which a significant share is avoidable; 140 million potentially productive person-years annually wasted on biomass fuel collection and avoidable cooking time

• Health: at least 4.3 million premature deaths annually and 110 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)4 resulting from household air pollution (HAP), including lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancers, heart disease, and cataracts; many additional health harms not quantified include asthma, tuberculosis, adverse pregnancy outcomes, depression, bacterial meningitis, a variety of moderate-to-severe physical injuries associated with firewood collection, burns, widespread minor ailments from smoke inhalation such as eye irritation and headaches, and the emerging concerns about the harms of kerosene cooking

• Environment: substantial emissions from solid fuel use and charcoal production of 0.5–1.2 billion MT in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent of Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases (up to 3% of annual global CO2 emissions) and 25% of global black carbon emissions; consumption of ~1.36 billion tons of woodfuel across the developing world, with contribution to forest degradation and deforestation most likely from charcoal production in Africa and Asia.

• Gender equity and other social impacts: disproportionate risks of negative HAP-linked health outcomes and physical injury for women and girls, given their proximity to cooking fires and primary responsibility for firewood collection in many cultures; decreased educational opportunities for children involved in fuel collection; impaired nutrition because of the diversion of resources to fuel purchases; and home environments damaged by smoke and soot

A range of technologies can mitigate these harmful effects, but only the cleanest cooking solutions hold the potential for truly transformational impacts on health and environmental outcomes. The potential benefits of improved and clean cooking solutions vary greatly by impact objective, cooking technology, quality of the specific cookstove, and consumer willingness to adopt the solution vis-à-vis baseline cooking technologies. There is no universally applicable technological answer to addressing the harms of solid fuel cooking. A range of ICS technologies, including low-cost basic ICS, can generate attractive fuel savings and other important economic co-benefits such as time savings for households and job creation opportunities for basic ICS manufacturing. Health benefits are the most difficult impact to achieve since they require the thorough replacement of traditional stoves with clean modern fuels, such as LPG and electricity, or renewable solutions, such as biogas. For biomass cooking, pending further evidence from the field, significant health benefits are possible only with the highest quality fan gasifier stoves; more moderate health impacts may be realized with natural draft gasifiers and vented intermediate ICS (e.g., Onil and Patsari stoves in Central America; Rocket Lorena and brick rocket stoves in Africa).

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