A clean cooking solution or a new technology must meet the needs of the users and be culturally appropriate otherwise it will fail to be utilized over the long term. This includes making sure that the technology is affordable, socially acceptable, easy to use, widely available, durable, and most of all, that the technology is desired. If users are motivated to adopt a new technology, they are if they were being persuaded to do so.
Making sure that a clean cookstove or a fuel is desirable entails making sure that it does not alter the taste of food, offers benefits such the ability to regulate the stove top temperature easily, cooks food quickly, or reduces the cost of, or time spent collecting, fuel. Additionally, since people all over the world cook different kinds of food, with a variety of available fuels, a variety of clean cooking solutions are needed in order to accommodate the different preferences.
There are as many different types of clean cooking solutions. These include those that encompass cleaner cookstoves and fuels as well as behavioral and structural changes. The following sections will discuss the range of technologies and solutions, ranging from the most basic cookstoves that burn raw, unprocessed solid fuels such as biomass or dung to much more advanced cookstoves that burn ultra-clean fuels such as ethanol or liquid petroleum gas, and those that use fuels with no environmental or health impact such as solar.
Which technologies does the Alliance support?
The Alliance is technology and fuel neutral, seeking to advance any and all solutions that are as clean and efficient as possible and are able to reach scale. However, acknowledging that lasting change does not happen overnight, the Alliance will also actively pursue intermediate solutions that can bring about real and measurable benefits to users.
Though currently there are no definitive standards for what constitutes a true “clean cookstove,” the Alliance has been working towards developing globally recognized and accepted standards. Once these are firmly in place, the definition of a “clean” cooking solution will be clearer and the Alliance will reevaluate its support of all technologies and fuels accordingly.