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Energy Dept. Makes More Funds Available for Clean Cookstoves
April 17, 2012

April 16, 2012

People gathered around a small stove
Clean cookstoves like this one from Envirofit reduce toxic emissions and use less fuel than traditional ones.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is making up to $2.5 million available this year for applied research on clean cookstoves for use in developing countries, the department said in a press release.According to the department, the funding will support the development of innovative cookstove designs that allow users to burn wood or crop residues more efficiently and with less smoke than open fires and traditional stoves, helping to save lives and improve livelihoods.The Energy Department, along with other U.S. federal agencies, is a founding partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership to advance cookstove technologies that improve indoor air quality, reduce carbon emissions and deliver important benefits for people’s health and the economies of developing nations around the world.

“Although significant progress has already been achieved in designing cookstoves with reduced emissions and increased efficiency, many challenges remain to develop high-performing technologies that are also affordable, durable, easy-to-use, and meet international indoor air-quality guidelines,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  “The funding opportunity announced today will help address these challenges, accelerating the widespread adoption of clean cooking technologies and developing a global market that builds on DOE investments in clean energy innovations.”

The World Health Organization cites indoor smoke from cooking and heating as one of the top 10 threats to public health in poor, developing countries, contributing to nearly 2 million deaths each year. Clean cookstoves with reduced emissions and increased energy efficiency will help prevent some of these deaths.  Energy-efficient cookstoves also reduce fuel use, slow deforestation and reduce the time families have to spend collecting fuel, which enables other livelihood-enhancing activities like generating income, caring for family members’ health and attending school.