Image Credits: Photos.com
Recent estimates suggest that around three billion people across the world rely on open fires or primary cook stoves that are fueled by coal and other types of solid biomass such as wood, charcoal and even animal waste. Over-dependence on such polluting cooking solutions leads to a variety of environmental and health problems. A clean cook stove is a novel cooking technology that meets consumer needs without affecting their health as well as the environment.
The key benefits of clean cook stove technologies are listed below:
- Inexpensive and durable
- Convenient to use
- Do not emit toxic substances
- Fast cooking times
- Do not alter the taste of food
- Easy regulation of stove temperature
Development of innovative technologies, access to finance, consumer awareness and novel distribution systems are the key factors that ensure widespread adoption of the clean cook stoves. In addition, shape, size, color and user-friendliness of the cook stove play a vital role.
However, the current challenges associated with the promotion of clean cooking solutions to customers include a lack of awareness about the economic, health and time-saving benefits.
The Global Alliance has created a ten-year strategic business plan with an aim to make 100 million families adopt clean cook stoves by 2020. The organization has planned to implement this by eliminating the barriers that currently limits the application of clean cook stove technology.
Clean Cookstoves and Fuels: A Global Perspective Run Time: 2:01mins
The Global Alliance are promoting alternative 'clean' cookstove technology and each type of stove can be found on the clean cookstove website. Many of the different types of cookstove require various fuel sources that are more efficient and do not cause harm to the user or the environment.
To highlight a couple of types of cookstove would firstly focus on the 'biogas cookstove' which is fueled by biogass, produced by converted animal manure and human waste, and not only provides serious health benefits but also does not emit addition greenhouse gases as it is classed as CO2 neutral.
A 'Solar Cookstove' which can come in various types such as, the panel cooker, box cooker and the parapbolic cooker, with one thing in common. Fuelled directly from thermal energy from the sun, solar cookstoves do not emit any smoke or greenhouse gases, ultimately benefiting the health of the user and the environment. The only drawback coming from the strength of the sun within a particular day. Having said that, for developing countries which have a lot more sunlight that others, solar energy would be a fuel type that has no cost.
Globally, over 40% of people make use of conventional cook stoves, open fires, and fossil fuels everyday to meet their cooking needs.
Safe, affordable, durable, and efficient cook stoves with clean fuels and other supplements such as heat retention cookers and chimneys are an ideal alternative to conventional cooking methods, which are harmful to health and to the environment.