The Indian government has made efforts to switch rural cooking fuels from the traditional biomass and fuelwood to cleaner fuels such as Kerosene and LPG. While traditional cooking fuels such as biomass and fuelwood have been historically cheap and easily accessible, there has been a steady decline in the availability of fuelwood and a steady increase in its price in the market. In addition, both biomass and fuelwood used in indoor cooking are great health hazards and affect women and children more than men (as they are less likely to be present during the cooking process). The WHO...

The 2015 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) meet saw 193 member States of the United Nations adopting the SDG agenda. Goal 7 of the SDG is about ‘Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’ by 2030. The emphasis on access to modern energy for sustainable development coupled with the growing evidence on the adverse health and environment impact of traditional biomass fuels  have prompted global initiatives to revive efforts on reaching modern energy sources to poor households in developing countries. As a step towards meeting the SDG agenda, the Indian...

Agriculture is an energy intensive enterprise. Almost all operations in agriculture from land preparation, sowing, weeding, irrigation, harvesting, post-harvest processing and storage is dependent on farm power – manual, animal, diesel or electricity. Mechanization of agricultural operations through the use of tools and machinery is the primary pathway in enabling access to commercial clean energy sources for agricultural production. In this context, access to clean energy sources is important in view of health and environmental reasons. In India, farm power use has increased from 0.30 kW/...

Fuel stacking is the phenomenon of households simultaneously using a number of different fuels, often ranging from collected wood fuel, to kerosene, LPG or electricity. Fuels sticking can exist both for lighting (kerosene and electricity) and cooking (wood, LPG, kerosene, electricity). Our field studies in Lalitpur  and Rupandehi Districts of Nepal and Wayanad District of Kerala and Koraput District of Odisha in India, have shown that fuel stacking is a fairly common phenomenon.

A study of India using data from the large-scale household data of the National Sample Survey (NSS) from...

Just 13 per cent of rural Indian households and less than 8 per cent of rural Nepalese households use clean cooking energy, meaning that tens of millions of women in rural India and Nepal are subject to indoor air pollution of black carbon. Many years ago, a Nepali cardiologist, Dr. Pandey, had estimated in a paper published in Lancet that such rural women were subject to as much lung damage as men smoking four packets of cigarettes a day. This serious health problem of rural women and children who sit with their mothers as they cook, has now begun to get some serious policy...