Measurement Tools Accelerate Clean Cooking Potential In Nepal

by CCAC Secretariat - 27 October, 2023
Since 2021, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) has worked with partner the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) to develop best-practice tools and resources for the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) emissions in the cooking and household energy sector.

The MRV tools being advanced by the 4C partners are applicable in at least 98 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) which have included household energy or clean cooking measures in their NDCs.  
The data gathered through MRV is essential for linking developing countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments to on the ground action and climate mitigation financing through mechanisms such as carbon markets under the Paris Agreement.  
The household energy sector contributes to climate change by producing around half of all anthropogenic black carbon emissions, as well as contributing to deforestation through the collecting of biomass for fuel, and producing smaller amounts of methane as a byproduct of charcoal production.  
In Nepal – where over 50% of the population still use biomass fuels and open fires for cooking – the CCA has been working with the Government of Nepal (GoN) towards an ambitious target of universal access to clean cooking by 2030. This goal is a core component of Nepal’s Country Action Plan (CAP) for Transforming the Cookstoves and Fuels Market in Nepal. The Government of Nepal (GoN) has previously committed to ensuring that 25% of households nationwide adopt electric cooking by 2030.  
Now with CCAC support, the CCA, Berkely Air Monitoring Group, and ATEC now embarking on a project to support the GoN’s goals by institutionalising monitoring and reporting systems, and increasing financing for clean cooking and engagement from the private sector and local governments.  

The project will do so by selling electronic cookstoves among 5000 households in Madesh Pradesh (Province 2), Nepal. The cookstoves are efficient induction stoves with embedded data collection functionality, which collects data on electricity consumption, stove usage time, location, tampering warnings, and estimated tonnes of carbon dioxide and SLCPs avoided. Additional monitors will enable measurement of how many stoves are being used by each household to provide more accurate emissions reductions estimates. 

Given the low purchasing power of many Nepalese households, establishing viable and sustainable value chains for clean cooking technology has also been an important part of the project. The high quality cookstoves intended for the CCA project retail for over $100 – a price far out of reach for most Nepalese households. However, the data collected by the stoves enables project implementors to conduct MRV for carbon credits without time-intensive field visits and surveys. This data then feeds into developing the projected value of the emissions offset by the project, which brings down the retail price. The CCA estimates a retail value of around $15 per cookstove.


Clean cooking technology drastically reduces indoor air pollution and time spent collecting fuel. Photo by Karuna Bajracharya /Clean Cooking Alliance


“We need to ensure reliable electricity, easily accessible and affordable electric cookstoves with households having the incentives to buy and use them.” said Anobha Gurung, Director of Nepal, Research, Evidence, and Learning at the Clean Cooking Alliance. 
Adequate electricity infrastructure is another core component of extending clean cooking in a country like Nepal. The project is working with key stakeholders such as the Nepal Electricity Authority, to ensure reliable and safe electricity access for sustained use of electric cooking. Expanded access to electricity will lead to advances for household energy use beyond cooking, including student learning potential and the management of micro, small, and medium enterprises, and health benefits. The project estimates that extending clean cooking to half a million households would create over 600 jobs.   

The CCA’s broader Nepal Electric Cooking Initiative (NECI) also seeks to ensure the sustainability of the electronic cookstove market after the project’s initial phase. This requires establishing a viable supply chain and ensuring after-sales services. Consumer data collected by the stoves can support the design of electric cooking-friendly tariff structure that incentivizes the use of electronic cookstoves, and help the NEA build infrastructure that can handle the increased electricity demand from electric cooking. 

Carbon-credit financing will help reduce the retail cost of clean cooking technology for Nepalese. Photo by Pratik Shrestha/Clean Cooking Alliance

Given Nepal’s significant renewable energy potential from hydro-electric dams, electrification of household energy, particularly cooking, offers an opportunity for the country to make major advances towards its energy self-sufficiency, as well as its NDC commitments under the Paris Agreement. Extending electric cooking across 500,000 households would lead to 3 million tons of direct and 7 million tons of indirect carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions.  

With its proximity to the Himalayas, reducing black carbon emissions from Nepal is important for lessening snow and ice melting, as black carbon increases heat absorption and surface temperatures in the cryosphere. This exacerbates downstream atmospheric warming effects this causes through lowered albedo and faster rates of sea-level rise.  

Pollutants (SLCPs)