August 8, Kathmandu /Nepal’s energy consumption pattern is heavily dependent on traditional energy resources. Use of firewood causes dependency on traditional sources of energy and leads to serious health problems due toindoor air pollution. About 77% of energy consumption of Nepal is supplied by traditional biomassenergy, which includes the firewood, cattle dung and agricultural residues. As per the National Census 2011, nearly 4 million out of 5.4 million households in Nepal are still using the traditional biomass energy including firewood, cow dong and agriculture residue for cooking. More than 61 per cent of the total population still relies on firewood for cooking.
Reduction in the use of biomass energy has been a concern of all, as it results in the adverse effect on the human health and environment. According to the report published by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012, indoor air pollution is the fourth major cause of the deaths amongst the poor and least developed countries. According to a study, about 7,500 people die in Nepal annually due to different diseases caused by the indoor air pollution. Studies have shown that women and children who spend their time in kitchen for long hours are most affected by this. Diseases attributable to household air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels claim more than 21000 lives each year in Nepal. In response to that, Nepal government has set goal to achieve clean cooking solutions for all by 2022. Similarly, ensuring universal access to clean cooking fuel by 2030 is one of the complementary targets of the sustainable Development Goal 7-Affordable and Clean Energy. On one hand, excessive consumption of timber results in depletion of forest resources whereas on the other hand, increased work load of woman for the collection of firewood. Moreover, use of traditional cook stoves consumes excessive firewood, emits excessive smoke and slow cooking has made women always busy.
Providing access to high-quality energy services to each and every person in Nepal is one of
the high priorities of the government. We are working to achieve 100% energy access by year
2023. With adequate electricity supply in the days to come needs to replace the heavy reliance on
imported LPG for cooking, the government will put more emphasis on clean cooking solutions and aim to
achieve one electric stove in every home, as stated in the vision laid out in the Energy White Paper in
The Government of Nepal through AEPC has been focusing on the promotion and expansion of use of
clean energy technologies like improved cooking stoves (ICS), biogas, solar-cooker/dryer. According to
the recent report of ‘National Living Standards Survey’, about 3 million households in Nepal have only
access to ICS. Studies carried out by AEPC in 2009 and 2010 have revealed that the use of ICS resulted
in the reduction of indoor air pollution by 62 %. Similarly, the consumption of firewood was reduced by 43% on an average together with the significant reduction in the time spent by the women in the kitchen
by the use of ICS in rural area. So far, ICS have been installed in about 1.3 million households and biogas
in about 365,000 households and solar cooker in about 600 households in Nepal and have been using
renewable energy for cooking. AEPC prepared a program about Terai Clean Cooking Program – Budget
NPR 250 Million.
The Government of Nepal with support from the development partners has been implementing the
National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme as an integrated programme in renewable energy
sector. For development and promotion of renewable energy, a subsidy has been provisioned through the
mobilization of internal and external resource including carbon trade. For additional expansion of
renewable energy technology, fulfillment of the United Nation’s “Sustainable Energy for All” and
“Sustainable Development Goals”, a campaign called “clean cooking solutions for all” has been initiated
to make all the households indoor air pollution free by providing clean cooking technologies. National
action plan and investment prospectus are being formulated for enhancing access to clean and sustainable
energy for all. Apart from this, a separate agroforestry policy is being formulated incorporating various
aspects of agroforestry.
However, 95 out of 100 households in Nepal have access to electricity, while 72 out of 100 have access to
reliable, affordable and uninterrupted access to electricity for a significant part of the day, marking
remarkable progress over the past decade, according to a first-of-its-kind national survey conducted by
the World Bank in 2017. Despite progress on the coverage and quality of electricity access, about the
same number of households–70 out of 100- continue to use firewood and other polluting and harmful
fuels for cooking in Nepal, the survey shows. The survey also suggests that for households to switch to
clean fuels such as electric stoves or biogas in the long run, Nepal requires a multi-pronged approach.
First, markets need to come together and target users through private sector involvement and strategies
including results-based financing.
Electricity access in Nepal has improved significantly in the recent years, which is right time for the
promotion of electric cooking as a clean cooking solution. The white paper released by Ministry on
energy, water Resources and Irrigation in 2018, recognizes electric as an obvious alternative to traditional
and imported cooking fuels. Supply chain system of electric cooking however, has not developed yet in
much of Nepal. Many rural households are simply unaware about multitude options that are available in
the market. As a result, even the population that has access to electricity and financing capital/services are bound to rely on firewood.
The political will to promote electric cooking as the most feasible solution to clean cooking has increased
in recent years. Interest on promotion of electric cooking has increased among government, private sector, and civil society and development partners. The supply and quality of grid electricity has improved in recent years. Significant growth of power generation in anticipated in the coming years. There is incentive for moving toward electric cooking as electricity is becoming cheaper compared to LPG and firewood. Moreover governments intends to discourage LPG as cooking fuel.
Formulation of Electric Cooktops Standards
The most significant one is formulation of Electric Cooktops Standard by Nepal Bureau of Standards and
Metrology (NBSM) with financial support from Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) and technical support
from Nepal Energy Foundation (NEF). Articulation of Standards is a major milestone in ensuring quality
of products will be improved and used in Nepalese market. The objectives of the standards is improving
the performance of the cooktops while maintaining a minimum standard and ensuring that greater quality
products are manufactured and traded in market. The Standards focus on safety-general requirement,
safety-particular requirements for induction hobs, and safety-particular requirements for hotplates and
performance standards for induction hobs.
National Association of Community Electricity Users’ Nepal, (NACEUN) has been initiated a campaign
with collaboration different partners, market-led promotion of electric cooking in Timal community
electrification area, Kavrepalanchok district. NACEUN, Ajummery Bikash Foundation, ABF and Radio
Sagarmatha have jointly partnered to work together on Market-led Promotion of Electric Cooking in
Community Electrification Areas. The Campaign aims to contribute towards people’s well-being by
eliminating indoor air pollution through the promotion of energy efficient electric cooking in Community
Rural Electric Entities (CREE) areas. This directly contributes to the Government’s drive to promote
‘electric stove for all households’ stimulated through the White Paper, and to realize the Government’s
commitment to ensure access to clean cooking solutions for all by 2022. It also contributes to energy
security of the country.
The Campaign aims to coordinate and work with a wide range of stakeholders including Government
agencies, private sector, civil society, financial institutions, academic institutions as well as development
partners. The Campaign believes that a market-led approach can ensure access of the households to
quality and efficient electric cooking products at just prices.
Clean Cooking Demonstration Project
Every day, 3 billion people depend on polluting open fires and inefficient stoves to cook their food in the
world. The Clean Cooking Alliance works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry
that makes clean cooking accessible to them. Established in 2010, the Alliance is driving consumer
demand, building a pipeline of investible businesses, and sustaining an enabling environment that allows
the sector to thrive. The Alliance expects that electric cooking will become an important part of the clean
cooking mix going forward for bringing change in women’s life in developing countries- Especially for
Nepal. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and environment,
empowering women, and helping families save time and money. The Alliance has supported a
demonstration project in Kavre district (Panchkhal and Mandandeupur areas), where electric cooking has
been prominently featured. While the project is in a limited area and is still ongoing, the early results have
been quite positive – there’s been an interest and uptake of electric cooking options.