Promoting Affordable, Efficient Cookstoves

Mariam Hammed cooking in her home in El Fasher, North Darfur.
Mariam Hammed cooking in her home in El Fasher, North Darfur. Switching from an open fire to a stove means Mariam and her baby will inhale less smoke.
Potential Energy

Worldwide, an estimated 2.4 billion people depend on biomass fuels (wood, dung, crop residues) to meet their cooking needs and heat their homes, including approximately three-quarters of the households in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The use of these solid fuels in open fires and rudimentary stoves is not only inefficient, but can also result in high levels of indoor air pollution; negative local and global environmental impacts, including global warming; and loss of productive opportunities for women and girls - who usually bear the burden of collecting the fuel.

USAID is working to reduce the adverse effects of household energy use by encouraging families to switch to cleaner, more efficient fuels and technologies. Our programs support the adoption of affordable stoves that require less fuel to meet household energy needs and release fewer pollutants. These stoves can help us accomplish many international development objectives, such as

  • improving health;
  • reducing environmental degradation;
  • mitigating climate change;
  • fostering economic growth and;
  • empowering women 

Our overarching goal is to develop evidence-based practical approaches to scaling-up and sustaining these interventions.

USAID is a founding partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and is working closely with the Alliance and other U.S. Government partners to collectively disseminate 100 million clean cookstoves by 2020. Our commitments to the Alliance are concentrated in three primary areas:

  • Developing and documenting methods of commercializing the clean cookstove sector via projects that strengthen private-sector cookstove enterprises and/or increase enterprise and consumer access to finance;
  • Extending the distribution of clean cookstoves to reach displaced populations in conflict or disaster settings; and
  • Increasing understanding of consumer needs and preferences, in order to help the global community bolster adoption of clean cookstoves and reduce exposure to indoor air pollution.

The following table summarizes the programs that constitute USAID’s commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:

Region Program Descriptions Implementing Partner Years
LATIN AMERICA & THE CARRIBBEAN The Haiti Improved Cooking Technology Program seeks to establish a commercial market for efficient household charcoal stoves, and convert commercial food vendors to liquid petroleum gas (LPG)  Chemonics International 2012-2015

The Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASHplus) program is assessing consumer needs, preferences and willingness to pay for fuel-efficient biomass stoves in Bangladesh and will develop strategies to improve clean cookstove dissemination

FHI360 2010-2015

The Translating Research into Action (TRAction) project is funding randomized control testing of behavior change communications to reduce indoor air pollution in India, while increasing the dissemination and use of cleaner-burning cooking technologies

Duke University 2011-2013

Two TRAction-funded projects are testing various marketing and payment mechanisms while establishing local production and dissemination of gasifier stoves 

Impact Carbon and PATH  2011 - 2013
  Cookstove marketing and distribution channels are being developed to serve displaced populations in Ethiopia and the Darfur region of Sudan, with the aim of establishing a self-sustaining stove distribution organization in a humanitarian context Potential Energy, Inc. 2012-2015
  Fuel-efficient stoves are being provided to host communities of the Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya. The program will seek to evaluate the relationship between the use of fuel-efficient stoves and women’s and girls’ risk of exposure to gender-based violence during fuel collection World Food Program 2012-2013


Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: September 13, 2012

Share This Page