Awareness Materials

The landscape of energy for cooking in Ghana: A review


Energy drives all human activities in all sectors worldwide. As of 2018, the household sector was the third-largest energy consumer after industry and transportation sectors globally. The narrative differs significantly in Ghana. The residential sector consumed nearly 42% of the total final energy supplied to the country in 2019, followed by the transportation sector (37%). Several household activities depend on energy. However, research and infrastructural investments have focused on cooking, heating, cooling, and lighting end-uses in recent years. Though lighting, cooling and heating end-uses have pushed the frontiers of technology towards finding sustainable energy supply sources like renewables and demand technologies like energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, cooking enduse has become a source of global health crisis in the home, as well as other environmental concerns it presents. This is due to the over-reliance on biomass especially, in developing countries. Therefore, understanding the choices around cooking fuels in the household has received significant research and policy attention over the last couple of decades to help plan sustainable transition alternatives for this sector.

The purpose of this review is to unearth the empirical realities in terms of what is known and unknown regarding the dynamics of meal choices, cooking processes, cooking fuels and fuel combustion technologies in the Ghanaian household.