Dutch SPARK which is a network of Netherlands-based public, business, finance, carbon, and development partners stressed the current funding issues that this sector faces at the Clean Cooking Investment Forum 2018.
The event, which was organised by Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves took place in Kigali as part of Rwanda's Renewable Energy Week.
Despite the fact that a staggering 3 billion people are still cooking on open fires, thermal energy (for cooking and heating) is often overlooked in the broader energy debate, and clean cooking is critically underfunded in comparison to, for example, access to solar energy. The imbalance in funding urgently needs to be addressed to end the current levels of avoidable deaths and help alleviate poverty.
To put this in perspective, over 4.3 million people die every year from diseases associated with indoor air pollution more than AIDS and Malaria combined. However, in 2014 there was a $4.4 billion estimated annual investment needed for cooking projects, but only $32 million committed. By comparison, in the same year, the average annual commitment for electricity projects was $19.4 billion while the sector needed $45 billion in total.
Neera Van der Geest, Managing Director of the Fair Climate Fund and Coordinator of the Dutch SPARK Coalition said ‘We believe that addressing the need for thermal energy for cooking deserves more attention as it is a pre-condition for food security and poverty alleviation.
SPARK and its members collaborate with the aim of achieving the ambitious goals of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) using only the cleanest technology available. SPARK’s approach focuses on the production of smart clean cooking technologies, innovative business models and access to finance.
Van der Geest continues “This Investment Forum organised by the Global Clean Cooking Alliance brought together for the first time all the key stakeholders in the sector and we are hopeful that through these kinds of events the urgency of clean cooking for the Base of the Pyramid is highlighted and tailored funding models will follow.”