Frequently Asked Questions

Which cooking devices are within the scope of MECS?

What do we mean by “clean cooking alternatives”?                

After many decades of attempting to achieve a movement towards “improved cookstoves” that still use biomass as the fuel but are more energy efficient, many experts now believe that a more radical approach is required.  The MECS project is focused, therefore, on supporting the transition to the use of devices that:

  • Are powered by electricity (however generated (but ideally renewable) or made available), LPG, biogas, bioethanol
  • Offer flexibility in what they can cook and rely on conventional heating of food that will be familiar, rather than using microwave technology, for example
  • Generally, we would expect these to be categorised at Tier 4-5 devices.

We are keen to minimise the need for householders/institutions to have to fuel stack or have multiple cooking devices to reflect the variations in availability of sources of energy, or the limitations of any one device.  As such, we focus on devices that can offer the vast majority of what is needed and can work at any time, drawing on a grid or stored energy (battery or bottled gas).

As a result, we have an informal hierarchy of devices on which we focus:

  • Most promising are electric pressure cookers (EPC)/multicookers – Tier 5.  These offer the prospects of excellent energy efficiency due to their thermal insulation and direct transfer of energy to heat as well as our research that suggests that 90% of what our target groups want to cook can be cooked using these.
  • Rice cookers, kettles, soup heaters, hotplates, induction stoves, simple stoves on top of a gas bottle or other LPG powered stoves are all in scope but less of a priority
  • Solar cookers exist in many forms and these can play a part, but they are very restricted as they only operate when there is direct sunlight available
  • Out of Scope: all stoves or other cooking devices using biomass or gasifier stoves, any solid fuel-based devices or any that cook with wood gas.

Which are the priority countries of interest for the MECS programme?

Further to a substantial body of research assessing the cooking and energy landscapes of various potential countries for MECS programme focus, the following have been identified as priority countries of interest: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia (The), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia. This will be reassessed on a six-monthly basis throughout the duration of the MECS programme. More detailed information on the selection process behind these countries of interest can be found in the ‘Countries of Interest’ section here.

How can I stay up to date with the latest news and opportunities relating to the MECS programme?

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