GIZ: 1.5 Million Improved Cookstoves Sold Annually
GIZ experiences in establishing sustainable markets for clean and efficient cookstoves

Over the last 30 years, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a federally-owned German enterprise, has supported technology and market development for energy saving cooking technologies and customised solutions for basic energy services. German Development Cooperation  is contributing to the UN Secretary General’s initiative "Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All)" by providing access to modern energy for 100 million people by 2030. Moreover, Germany is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and contributing significantly to its overall goal of reaching 100 million homes with clean cooking solutions by 2020.

GIZ builds on solid experiences and lessons learned in various different project contexts, on all levels of implementation – from the household user up to the policy level. Experiences are derived from project interventions in 24 countries of the global partnership programme “Energising Development (EnDev)”, a number of bi-lateral energy programmes and the sector programme “Poverty-Oriented Basic Energy Services (HERA)”. As a facilitator for sustainable market structures, GIZ supports research and development, market actors like manufacturers, distributors and customers, and advises decision-makers both in government and the private sector.
In 2013 alone, 1.5 million improved cookstoves were sold by distributors and manufacturers that receive support through GIZ. But our accomplishments are not only reflected in numbers: GIZ aims at supporting the creation of sustainable market structures. To this end, technologies, business models and policies are designed on the basis of prevalent framework conditions and cooking habits. The starting point of GIZ strategy development are the specific needs and aspirations of rural households, social institutions and small businesses. More than 60 different types of stoves sold in close to 30 countries, such as Bangladesh, Kenya or Peru, show the wide-ranging activities in promoting efficient and cleaner cooking.
Given the fact that in the short term not everybody, especially poor communities in a rural African context, will be able to move from biomass to cleaner burning fuels, further development of efficient biomass cooking technologies remains essential. Therefore, improved biomass stoves are a well needed transition-technology that can improve living conditions of people in poor households.

In accordance with the Alliance, GIZ strongly follows and supports market-based approaches to achieving sustainable market structures for cooking solutions. Thus, GIZ works on several levels of intervention from advising national policy makers on supportive framework conditions, enabling the (local) private sector, and sensitizing and empowering the customers. GIZ facilitates the establishment of commercial value chains and self-perpetuating market structures. By setting up viable businesses in the countries, socio-economic co-benefits such as increased employment and income are achieved.

Quality control and after-sales support are crucial for consumers to adopt sustainable cooking solutions. Therefore, GIZ is part of the ISO Technical Committee TC 285 which develops internationally binding quality standards for cookstoves. Detailed monitoring and impact evaluation is important to track the implementation strategy. Thus, besides counting stoves, evaluation of penetration rate, usage, maintenance and condition of the stove and the stove’s replacement at the end of its lifetime is equally important.

Clean cooking not only depends on the technology, but also on the fuel, cooking environment, and user behavior. GIZ typically addresses all these factors of the "cooking system" through integrated approaches. Besides the stove – which according to GIZ´s experience should not only meet quality criteria but correspond to the local like food and cooking dishes – the user is a key factor in the cooking system. In order to guarantee for a successful introduction and sustainable adoption of new cooking technologies, the users have to change longstanding cooking habits. Accordingly, constant awareness raising is needed on how to correctly use the cookstove and fuel.

For more information about GIZ’s work in the field of basic energy services and energy access, please consult our websites: