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Webinar registration open for IRENA Virtual Knowledge Exchange Series on Renewables-based Clean Cooking: Key Messages and the Way Forward

15th September 2023

Registration is open for the final webinar in the IRENA Virtual Knowledge Series on Renewables-based Clean Cooking, to be held on Tuesday 19 September 2023, 14:00-15:30 CEST, which will convene policy makers and decision-makers in the private sector, financing institutions and market development organizations to reflect on the key findings emerging from the solutions deep-dives, and discuss urgent actions needed to raise ambition and investment flows at the scale necessary to achieve SDG 7 by 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) target of achieving universal access to clean cooking fuels and technologies remains elusive. The 2023 SDG 7 Tracking Report highlights that, despite the progress, some 2.3 billion people still used polluting fuels and technologies for cooking in 2021. Recent analysis finds that under a business-as-usual scenario, the number of people without access will decline from 2.3 billion to 1.8 billion in 2030 – revealing a significant gap to the target set under SDG 7. Annual investments to 2030 need to more than triple if the 2030 clean cooking target is to be met. Much of that investment will be in Sub-Saharan Africa where, under current trends, universal clean cooking access is not likely to be achieved even until the 2050s.

What is clear is that a mix of solutions will be necessary to accelerate clean cooking access as part of holistic national strategies anchored on local contexts and preferences. Renewables-based solutions, including biogas, bioethanol, solid biomass, and electricity-based options, are increasingly deployed and present an opportunity for governments to increase expansion while also addressing other cross-sector development goals, including in agriculture. Over the next decades, as outlined in IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook, the world will need to accelerate its shift to a mix of renewable cooking solutions aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Agenda. Yet, these solutions do not often receive the policy and investment attention they deserve with overall market development efforts lacking.

To bring the spotlight on renewables-based clean cooking solutions, the IRENA Virtual Knowledge Series on Renewables-based Clean Cooking was launched in April 2023. Four deep-dive sessions were organized focusing on bioethanol, biodigesters, electric cooking and solid biomass to discuss in-depth the current status of solutions, the specific barriers faced by different stakeholders, and emerging policy, financing and local market development solutions. Over 370 experts participated in the discussions which were organized in partnership with various practitioner organizations, including the UNIDO/Council on Ethanol Clean Cooking, MECS, SNV and Practical Action.