Adoption of clean cooking solutions, which are not harmful for the user and for the environment, are a priority for Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet in most countries in the region the adoption rate is still well below 50%. Quite often, the household penetration of other modern forms of energy or telecommunication is higher than that of clean cooking technology, suggesting that significant barriers remain for the uptake of improved cooking solutions. 

Pilot Evaluation of the Diffusion and Use of Clean Cooking Technologies in Lagos, Nigeria (PEDUCCT)


Research Partners: The Berkeley Air Monitoring Group (US), International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development / University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Project Gaia Prospects Ltd. and Winrock International, with additional participation from University of Chicago.

A recently completed randomized controlled study in Nigeria that transitioned pregnant women from traditional fuels to ethanol in their cook stoves demonstrated improved pregnancy outcomes in mothers and children. Subsequently a pilot study was conducted among 30 households in Lagos, Nigeria, to determine the acceptability of blended ethanol/methanol as cooking fuel and the willingness to pay for the CleanCook stove. A third of the pilot participants expressed a willingness to purchase the stove for the minimum price of 42 USD or more. Fuel sales data suggest sustained, but non-exclusive, use of the CleanCook stove. The results of this study will influence the final design and implementation of a planned 2,500 stove commercial pilot scheduled to start in Nigeria in August 2018.

Key Findings

  • Taken together, the multiple approaches used in this assessment generate an encouraging picture of ethanol as a likeable and affordable household fuel.
    The ethanol-methanol cooking experience delivered sufficient benefits to the participants that they were willing to continue to procure the fuel even though the purchase experience was sometimes inconsistent and challenging.
  • Even with incomplete household adoption and continued cookstove stacking, an ethanol-methanol initiative could deliver significant regional reductions in climate-damaging pollutants.
    Monetizing the climate benefits through some form of carbon finance to subsidize the capital cost of the cookstove would help it better compete with LPG and other cooking fuel options.
  • The findings of the PEDUCCT study, while rich and interesting in their own right, are limited in their scope due to the fact that only an experimental study could be undertaken during the timeframe of the research contract.
    The full market launch of the CleanCook stove, which would have allowed for the evaluation of an authentic customer experience, was delayed indefinitely due to challenges with permitting and constructing the fuel supply storage and blending facilities. This deferral further underscores the challenges of trying to assess customer satisfaction with the fuel procurement system, which is central to adoption of the CleanCook in an urban market-based program, before the actual supply chain has been established.
  • In this case, where only the study stoves use the fuel type and the fuel can only be purchased from limited sources, canister refill data appears to be a cost-effective and reasonably accurate way to measure adoption.
    Unlike self-reported data, canister sales are not affected by recall or over-reporting biases. The canister refill data provides a good counterpoint to survey data that is much less invasive and labor-intensive than stove use monitoring.

Climate and Health Impacts of Scaling Adoption of LPG for Clean Cooking through the Cameroon LPG Master Plan


Research Partners: The University of Liverpool (UK), Global LPG Partnership (GLPGP) and the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (Oslo).

In Cameroon, the majority of cooking is carried out using biomass fuels, such as wood and charcoal, which pose risks to health and the environment and contribute to holding back economic development. To address health, environment, deforestation and energy security issues related to reliance on biomass for domestic energy, the government of Cameroon recently adopted a National LPG Master Plan (Master Plan) to increase liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) adoption to around 58% of the population by 2030.

This study modelled the health and climate impacts of this aspirational goal in the short (2030) and long (2100) term. 

Key Findings

  • By 2030, successful implementation of the Master Plan was estimated to save about 29,000 lives and avert 770,000 disability-adjusted-life-years, compared to naturally increasing trends in LPG adoption.
  • For the same period, reductions in pollutant emissions of more than a third were found, leading to a global cooling of -0·1 milli °C in 2030.
  • For 2100, a cooling impact for the Master Plan leading to LPG saturation (73%) was estimated to be -0·70 milli °C.


Meeting the government target of 58% of the population using LPG through successful implementation of the Master Plan will have significant positive impacts on population health and will contribute to reduce global warming, through reductions of emissions influencing climate and associated global cooling.


Developing an Innovative and Sustainable Market-based Systems for Enhancing Diffusion of Clean Cooking Solutions in East Africa


Research Partners: The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University for Science and Technology (JOOUST) (Kenya), African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), Clean Cookstoves Association of Kenya, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Pennsylvania State University, USA.

The aim of the study was to look at evidence of barriers in the development of clean cooking solutions markets in Kenya and made actionable recommendations on how to improve the diffusion of clean cooking solutions using a market-based approach.

The ultimate goal is to enhance the adoption and diffusion of clean cooking solutions through an innovative and sustainable market approach that addresses issues, such as demand-driven approaches to facilitate adoption of clean cooking solutions.

The key issues rotate around affordability, availability, quality, suitability, awareness and capacity. What is required is the adoption of a strategic approach to addressing the various challenges that have been identified, including creating a conducive policy framework to unlock to the potentials of clean cooking solutions in the country.

Key Findings

Use of clean cooking solution in rural and peri-urban households

  • The study revealed that an average of 97% per cent of respondents in the rural areas do not use any clean cooking solution, while in peri-urban areas the average was 54 per cent. Of those using clean cooking solutions, all were using improved cookstoves, while 13% were using improved cookstoves with a clean fuel (mainly briquette).
  • The majority of the respondents using clean cooking solutions were recorded in households where the household head had post-primary education, accounting for 69% of the total users.
  • This observation could simply mean that households with high education levels are likely to have a higher disposable income so they could afford to the cost of buying clean cooking solutions. Another way to explain this could be to higher awareness levels due to better education and exposure to external world.
  • This observation brings to the discussion the role of awareness and affordability as key issues in adoption of clean cooking solutions. The fact that peri-urban areas have easier access to clean cooking solution distribution channels is also another issue. This is reinforced by the observation that of the households which did not have clean cooking solutions, the majority (57%) responded that they could not afford the cost of buying an improved cookstove, while an equally high number (27%t) stated the products were not available, almost all from rural areas.

Type and source of clean cooking solutions

  • The study interrogated whether the stoves are imported or locally manufactured. Of the respondents using improved cookstoves, the majority (89%) of the households in rural areas are using locally manufactured improved cookstoves, while in the peri-urban areas the ratio of imported and locally manufactured stoves are almost equal.
  • The study identified two main types of improved cook stoves (ICS), 1) portable ICS and 2) fixed ICS. While the portable were found both in rural and peri-urban areas, the fixed type is predominantly in the rural areas. The portable systems are light, easy to transport and can be carried and used in different locations. Most of the portable stoves are for charcoal burning or liquid biofuel, with only very few designed for firewood (which are currently emerging in the market, such as the burn stove). On the other hand, fixed ICS are predominantly found in the rural areas. They are fixed either on the floor or on a wall, and are mostly firewood stoves.

Financing for clean cooking solutions and reason for stove type selection

  • When the respondents were asked about the main reason for selecting the type of cooking stove, the main factors that featured prominently were affordability (31%), fuel saving (27%), availability (23%) and durability (17%). The other factors, such as aesthetic value, health and environment, were minor factors.
  • With affordability of the products being a major issue, lack of financing mechanism is bound have a negative impact on the adoption rate. The majority of the households interviewed (90%) indicated that they used their own savings to purchase the product, 7% were given stoves for free by NGOs, while 3% paid through a micro-credit scheme. It is worth noting that micro-credit is playing a negligible role in the distribution of clean coking solutions. A few that were mentioned include Kenya Women Microfinance Bank and a few local SACCO.
  • The lack of financing mechanisms is made worse by the observation that there is little or lack of ICT innovation to support the market. Use of ICT in marketing and distribution of CCS is minimal, with only 15% of the traders indicating they are using ICT, while 85% are yet to embrace ICT. Innovation in ICT has been used successfully in solar solutions distribution in Kenya, with M-KOPA being used to distribute solar solutions to millions of household.

Awareness levels on the importance of clean cooking solutions

  • Awareness levels on clean cooking solutions is still low, especially in the rural areas where awareness levels were as low as 7%, compared to peri-urban 95%. 
  • For those who were aware, the main benefit they associate with clean cooking solutions is fuel saving, which was scored by 57% of the households, followed by fast cooking at 22%. Health, environment and aesthetic were not much of a consideration by the households.
  • Health and environmental benefits are among the main message by clean cooking solution actors. The fact that the household sees it differently could point to some breakdown in communication. The study went further to interrogate on the communication strategy used to reach the households, which also gave a negative picture. For example, when the households were asked about the source of information for clean cooking solutions, the majority responded that they just saw the products in the market and decided to try them out. 

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