Clean cooking energy for all: Focus on mainstreaming user priorities

Decision Support Tool for cooking energy service

An estimated 75% of rural Indian households continue to use firewood and chips, dung cake, and coal/charcoal as cooking fuels. Traditional cookstoves consume excessive amounts of biomass and cause health-threatening levels of indoor air pollution, which causes more than 480,000 premature deaths in India annually (WHO). Efforts towards providing clean cooking energy have met with limited success, thanks largely to inadequate emphasis on understanding and addressing community needs and on systems for delivery and servicing.

Against this backdrop, AIREC, in a bid to integrate the opinions and preferences of the users into the decision-making processes and incentives for clean cooking energy, has developed a decision-support tool to evaluate clean cooking energy solutions. The tool, which is technology- and fuel-neutral, is based on an understanding of what users expect from their cooking energy systems. The criteria that are most important to the users must feature prominently in the selection of technology, fuel, design, and dissemination mechanism for cooking energy services delivery. This tool has been developed with support from the RE component of the Indo-German Energy Programme of GIZ.