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Two birds, one stone—reframing cooking energy policies in Africa and Asia

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2019, 13:57 by Simon Batchelor, Ed Brown, Nigel Scott, Jon Leary
For the past 40 years, the dominant ‘policy’ on cooking energy in the Global South has been to improve the combustion efficiency of biomass fuels. This was said to alleviate the burdens of biomass cooking for three billion people by mitigating emissions, reducing deforestation, alleviating expenditure and collection times on fuels and increasing health outcomes. By 2015, international agencies were openly saying it was a failing policy. The dispersal of improved cookstoves was not keeping up with population growth, increasing urbanisation was leading to denser emissions and evidence suggested health effects of improved stoves were not as expected. A call was made for a new strategy, something other than ‘business as usual’. Conventional wisdom suggests that access to electricity is poor in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), that it is too expensive and that weak grids prevent even connected households from cooking. Could a new strategy be built around access to electricity (and gas)? Could bringing modern energy for cooking to the forefront kill two birds with one stone? In 2019, UK Aid announced a multi-million-pound programme on ‘Modern Energy Cooking Services’ (MECS), specifically designed to explore alternative approaches to address cooking energy concerns in the Global South. This paper outlines the rationale behind such a move, and how it will work with existing economies and policies to catalyse a global transition.

Funding

The research programme named is funded by UK Aid (GB-GOV-1-300123). The research that led to the programme and supports the argument in the paper was funded by EPSRC (EP/L022311/1) and InnovateUK (132724) with matching funds by Gamos Ltd., who also invested in the research as a public good

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Energies

Volume

12

Issue

9

Pages

1591 - 1591

Citation

BATCHELOR, S. ... et al., 2019. Two birds, one stone—reframing cooking energy policies in Africa and Asia. Energies, 12(9): 1591.

Publisher

MDPI AG (© The authors)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date

22/04/2019

Publication date

2019-04-26

Notes

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by MDPI under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

eISSN

1996-1073

Language

en

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