Press Release – Report launch: “Beyond Fire: How To Achieve Electric Cooking”

Hamburg, 28 May 2019. The cost of cooking with renewable electricity is now competitive with the other cooking fuels in most developing countries, concludes a new report called Beyond Fire: How to achieve electric cooking by Hivos and the World Future Council. This is a significant improvement from three years ago when the two organizations first studied this.

Achieving sustainable cooking is one of the great challenges of our time. Cooking with charcoal and firewood sources still accounts for 4 million premature deaths due to indoor air pollution, puts significant strain on already stressed forest resources, and it is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

“For almost two decades we have inadvertently narrowed the debate of clean cooking to just cookstoves. We need to look at the sources of energy and clean fuels”, says Kandeh Yumkella, Parliamentary Leader Sierra Leone, first CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and former UN Special Representative and Director General of UNIDO.

Hivos and the World Future Council (WFC) just released a study that unveils the cost-competitiveness of cooking with renewable energies. Eco Master, Program Manager Energy & Climate at Hivos responds: “We looked into alternatives that provide long term sustainable solutions rather than quick intermediate fixes such as improved cookstoves”.

The examined cooking appliances are stoves using solid fuels (such as wood and charcoal), gas-based stoves (LPG, biogas, and power to gas) and electric cooking (electric hot plate, induction stove, slow cooker, and pressure cooker), both in mini-grid contexts and via solar home systems.

“The report shows that the costs of cooking with electricity – both in mini-grid contexts and via solar home systems – is now well within the range of cost-competitiveness of other cooking alternatives. Households spend EUR 1 – EUR 31/month on average for cooking fuels. Electric cooking with Solar Home Systems (SHS) costs between EUR 5 – EUR 15/month while the costs per household of cooking with a mini-grid are in the EUR 4 – EUR 36/month range,” says Anna Leidreiter, Director Climate Energy with the World Future Council.

WFC Councilor Dipal Chandra Barua, who is also Co-founder of the Grameen Bank, Founding Managing Director of the Grameen Shakti, Founder, and Chairman of the Bright Green Energy Foundation, President of the South Asian Network for Clean Energy (STANCE), adds: “This report is unique in the sense that it covers all aspects of cooking. I believe electric cooking is modern and less polluting if the electricity comes from renewable sources. This report will help the world community, incl. practitioners, users, policymakers, advocates, funding agencies, and international organizations to understand and take action to implement electric cooking in a sustainable fashion in their respective regions.”

The entire report can be downloaded here.

Media Contact

Miriam Petersen
Media and Communications Manager
World Future Council
Dorotheenstr. 15, 22301 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)1781018019

About the World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) consists of up to 50 eminent global changemakers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts, and business who have already successfully created change. We work to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organization under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit