Earlier this month, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced a National Biomass Cookstove initiative which will provide efficient cooking stoves to rural areas. According to the MNRE press release, 80% of residential energy in India comes from biomass (with 826 million users), which has adverse environmental and health effects, especially on women and children. The initiative is meant to be economically sustainable, so the government will not give out cookstoves. Instead, this initiative is meant to improve on previous efforts by properly training new users on how to use the new technology, simultaneously working on the design to adapt to traditional cooking methods, and encouraging public private partnerships.
The potential results of this initiative are promising, from reducing India’s climate impact, reducing greenhouse gass emissions, and improving the health of the rural population. This is an initiative to keep an eye on as the Ministry will start with pilot programmes and then set targets based on the results.