Energy Challenges for Clean Cooking in Asia, the Background, and Possible Policy Solutions
Household air pollution from solid fuel use is estimated to result each year in more than a million premature deaths worldwide.
The approximate number of people without access to clean cooking facilities is 2.8 billion, primarily in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Among those, 2.5 billion people cook with biomass in inefficient and polluting stoves. The health impacts are severe: it is estimated that household air pollution from solid fuel use results in more than a million premature deaths each year in the People’s Republic of China and 2.8 million deaths worldwide. In addition, the biomass often comes from unsustainable sources.
In spite of intensifying efforts, programs and policies to address the clean cooking challenge have so far had limited impact, and more effective policies are needed. Clean cooking technologies and tools include improved and advanced biomass cookstoves that meet World Health Organization standards for exposure to indoor air pollution, biogas digesters based on wastes, solar cookers, electricity for cooking based on small solar home systems and mini-grids, and switching to liquefied petroleum gas, which, while not renewable, is an important option for reducing the health impacts of solid fuel cooking.
We bring together the experiences of promoting clean cooking policies and programs in Asian countries. The quantitative results of this study will be helpful for policy and decision makers to find out the challenges, issues, and possible solutions for providing clean cooking technologies in Asia.