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Cooking Energy System
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Introduction to Planning Cooking Energy Interventions
For planning the promotion of cooking energy interventions, it is important to take into consideration the entire Cooking Energy System.
Cooking Energy is a complex system which comprises issues related to the energy supply, the end user devices (e.g. cook stoves), and the user behaviour. While fuel supply and improved cook stoves have been given a lot of attention, the users’ capacity to manage the fuel, to handle the stove in the right way, and to manage the cooking process in an energy efficient way are the most difficult and neglected aspects of the cooking energy system. It is only through the way people use their resources, that the actual quality of the (energy) service is realized.
Fig: Overview of cooking energy systems (GIZ 2011)
Key intervention areas for cooking energy
80% of the cooking energy in developing countries is based on the use of biomass fuels, in particular firewood and charcoal. For this reason, the focus on interventions for cooking energy in this compendium is based on the supply and demand side of wood fuels.
These interventions are:
- Introduction and scaling up of the efficient use of improved wood fuel stoves;
This includes both firewood and charcoal as well as the stoves and the stove management practices.
- Increase (sustainable) wood fuel supply and efficient wood fuel management;
This includes afforestation, sustainable forest management, efficient charcoal production, and the fuel management at household level.
However, improved efficiency of wood fuel consumption and increased wood fuel supply may not be sufficient to achieve a sustainable wood fuel supply-demand system, due to other competing demands of wood and land resources.
As a result, a complementary third key intervention is required:
- Promotion of alternative cooking energy options (fuels, stoves and practices);
This includes other biomass fuels, non-biomass fuels, and energy-efficient cooking practices.
The National Political Framework Conditions for Cooking Energy
Cooking Energy needs public sector support and planning of interventions is done within political frame conditions. National governments and their ministries responsible for energy matters have their own political visions and experiences which determine the political frame conditions for the planning process of improved cookstoves (ICS) interventions.
Cooking energy is not always the key priority in national ministries dealing with energy matters. However, there still might be political ambitions, agendas, visions, prejudices against, and preferences for specific technical solutions which will impact on the perception of a planning process.
It is therefore important to assess the national political frame conditions for the planning of Cooking Energy interventions.
Here are some examples of questions which have been useful for GIZ:
- What has happened nationally in the household energy sector in the past?
- How much knowledge (and which) is still available on stoves, small business development, and marketing?
- How much of this knowledge is available at the level of the ministry that is responsible for energy?
- What is the guiding vision in the ministry concerning the future of cooking energy in the country?
- What is the governments/ministries perception(s) and position(s) with regard to the use of wood fuels for cooking in rural and urban environments?
- Are there strategies or policies regarding the use of specific fuels (e.g. a ban of charcoal?)
- How do national ministriesperceive alternative fuel options for cooking energy?
- How realistic and serious are these positions (relevance for practical actions)?
- Who is either involved in, or supposed to support, the household energy sector?
- Are there other ministries (e.g. forestry, environment, agriculture) who have a mandate and policy/strategy in the field of household energy? (if Yes: What are their positions to the above?)
This article was originally published by GIZ HERA. It is basically based on experiences, lessons learned and information gathered by GIZ cook stove projects. You can find more information about the authors and experts of the original “Cooking Energy Compendium” in the Imprint.
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