Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme

1.8 billion people have access to electricity but still cook with biomass. Load shedding, weak grids, affordability of electricity, accessibility of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), tradition, perceptions, and a lack of suitable cooking appliances all act as barriers to scaling up the use of electricity or gas for cooking – clean cooking.

We already know that increasing access through renewable energy generation is becoming more affordable and opening new windows of opportunity. New business models and smart monitoring are improving the reliability of LPG distribution, appliances can be made more energy efficient but still cook favourite foods so they taste right, and cooking with electricity is becoming increasingly affordable with issues of reliability and sustainability being overcome.

We want to build on these opportunities and the new knowledge emerging from the MECS programme to break out of business-as-usual approaches and rapidly accelerate the transition from biomass to clean cooking on a global scale.

Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) Programme, a five-year initiative funded by UK Aid of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and led by Loughborough University and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). The MECS Programme aims to accelerate the global transition from traditional biomass-based cooking to modern-energy cooking solutions.

In India, over 789 mn people (nearly 60 percent of the population), depend on polluting, open fires or inefficient stoves to cook their food. The resulting Household Air Pollution (HAP) causes around 0.47 mn deaths each year in India (WHO, 2016). The MECS Programme has developed a substantial strategy for working with India which includes supporting innovation, investigations of Indian cooking and Electric Cooking (eCooking) device requirements, pilots, based on sharing our lessons from the research and connecting Indian partners with others around the world.

Finovista is In-Country Partner for the MECS Programme in India.

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