Efficient, Clean Cooking and Heating Program

Calendar » Scalable Business Models for Biomass Fuels and Stoves in Sub-Saharan Africa Beyond the Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma

Scalable Business Models for Biomass Fuels and Stoves in Sub-Saharan Africa Beyond the Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma

March 74, 2018 | 12:30 PM | World Bank: 1850 I (Eye) Street NW, Room 12-420

More than three billion people globally cook with traditional solid fuels and kerosene, causing significantly negative health, environmental, and economic impacts. Household air pollution from cooking with traditional fuels contributes to approximately 3 to 4 million deaths per year around the globe. Illness related to household air pollution, such as lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, and acute lower respiratory infections causes at least 581,000 premature deaths per year just in Sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank 2014)—it is the second largest health risk factor associated with death and disability in the region.


The cooking device used by most households remains the three-stone fire.  While it clearly has withstood the test of time, it has done so in an inefficient (<15%) and heavily polluting manner. To push beyond this status quo, alternative fuels and clean-burning stoves that are both highly efficient and clean must be widely disseminated. Improved biomass fuels burned in traditional or slightly improved cookstoves can achieve a slight improvement in efficient, but do little to decrease emissions.  Both the fuel and the cooking device must be new for healthy biomass cooking to be achieved. Progress to disseminate such cleaner options has been very limited as it faces a basic chicken-or-egg dilemma:  What comes first, the stove or the fuel?


This BBL will summarize the contents of a recently-completed review of this “Stove-or-Fuel” challenge as it presently stands and tries to identify various efforts and approaches undertaken to date to solve it.  It also suggests some integrated approaches to systematically solve the challenge and will summarize the experience to date of one such social enterprise, that of Inyenyeri in Rwanda.


Chair: Wendy Hughes, Practice Manager, World Bank Africa Region






Richard Hosier | Dr. Richard Hosier is Senior Energy Specialist in the Africa Region, within the Energy Global Practice of the World Bank, where he focuses on Energy Access challenges.  He was the final Task Team Leader overseeing the recent publication “Scalable Business Models for Alternative Biomass Cooking Fuels and their Potential in Sub-Saharan Africa”.  Over his career, he has worked with the GEF Secretariat, the United Nations Development Program, the University of Pennsylvania, the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.  He has worked in over 50 developing countries and published more than 30 refereed journal articles; 50 scientific papers; and four book-length research monographs all focusing on energy for development, natural resource management and climate change. 




Matt King | Matt King is an Environmental Specialist at the World Bank with 10 years of experience working in climate and carbon markets and renewable energy technologies. He manages the Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev), a $100m trust fund that mobilizes private sector finance for low-carbon energy access in low-income countries, via the use of results-based payments. Prior to joining the World Bank 4.5 years ago, he set up and ran small businesses in the carbon finance, solar PV and energy efficiency sectors. He has an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University, where he focused on climate change economics and which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship.






Yabei Zhang, Senior Energy Specialist & TTL, ESMAP ECCH Program, World Bank


Nuyi Tao, Senior Carbon Finance Specialist, World Bank


Kenta Usui, Energy Specialist, World Bank 




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