Nearly three billion people around the world rely on traditional solid fuels such as wood or charcoal for cooking and heating. The burning of ‘dirty fuels’ has severe implications for society in terms of health outcomes, gender relations and economic activity. It also has severe environmental repercussions as it increases air pollution levels and contributes towards the climate crisis.
The current strategies in place are insufficient to address such unsustainable and unhealthy cooking practices. Even after decades of investment in biomass cooking, focused largely on increasing the efficiency of biomass use in domestic stoves, the resulting technologies seem to have made limited impact on developmental outcomes.
Funded by UK Aid (FCDO), the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme aims to break out of this “business-as-usual” cycle. MECS is investigating how to accelerate the transition from biomass to genuinely ‘clean’ cooking fuels such as renewable electricity, ethanol or LPG.
The five-year programme is producing evidence about the role modern energy can play in cooking. This is helping us to understand how economies can promote the innovation that will make modern energy cooking services more affordable, reliable and sustainable.
Energy 4 Impact is supporting MECS’ capital markets work to pave the way for the introduction of more finance into the clean cooking sector. With this aim in sight, Energy 4 Impact is taking a closer look at financing trends into the sector. It is investigating the types of investors supporting market development, the expansion and adoption of proper clean cooking technologies, the difficulties faced by clean cooking companies in raising capital, the strategies investors can adopt to fill the gaps and methods of boosting capital flow in the clean cooking sector.
The information about the cooking landscape that is acquired during this research period will ultimately help accelerate the global transition to clean cooking.