Promotion of clean cooking services and MECS Programme launch in India

The Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) Programme with its in-country partner, Finovista, organised a day-long briefing Workshop and Round Table at New Delhi, INDIA.

The event explored the case for MECS programme to work with India on the development and implementation of cooking with electricity.

This has the potential to save millions of lives across the world, both in India and in the MECS target countries in East Africa and South East Asia.

While much has been done to attempt to reduce deaths from household air pollution by developing a range of improved biomass stoves or LPG access, we see a major new opportunity to radically change the approach as a result of the huge investments going into electricity access. For the first time, there is a real possibility of “eCooking” being financially viable and for cooking devices and systems to be developed that can work in weak grid or off-grid contexts. The barriers to households securing eCooking devices can also be massively reduced if we can harness eCooking’s potential generate a much-needed additional load and potential revenue stream for energy providers. It also has the potential to demonstrate and release funds as a result of the substantial carbon emission reductions. India is an ideal partner in this work as the agenda is of great importance with the need to reduce the deaths from household air pollution across the country and the dependency on foreign imports of LPG. India has already invested substantially in these challenges and the Government of India is now open to exploring new solutions. The Indian manufacturing, technology and research base as well as substantial trade relationships with African and Asian markets puts it in a unique position to benefit economically from the foreign as well as domestic need for clean cooking solutions.

We briefed the businesses, on the market opportunities, support available from MECS and leading Indian institutions and the kinds of devices and innovation opportunities across India Africa and South East Asia

At the Round Table, we discussed the opportunities for the MECS programme to work with Indian partners, with a particular focus on supporting innovation, pilots of promising technologies for clean cooking and collaboration to enable businesses to scale up production and enter the relevant markets. It was agreed that there are excellent opportunities for win-win collaboration and to work together towards concrete action in each area.

The aims of the day were to:

  • To launch of MECS programme in India
  • To brief Indian businesses in the cooking device sector/supply chain regarding market opportunities, innovation requirements and support available to build sales across Africa and SE Asia
  • To explore the potential for collaboration between the MECS Programme and Indian institutions to support clean cooking in India and wider, and develop concrete project proposals
  • Connecting the stakeholders for better understanding and alignment and building an effective clean cooking ecosystem

The day was a great success with over 80 participants Government of India, UK Department for International Development (DfID), Social Alpha, RIS, ISA, TERI, CSIR, IIT Delhi and leading financial institutions & business chambers.

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I have been very pleased to work with Vimal and his team at Finovista. They are very well connected in India and have a real understanding of the business and innovation environment there. We are working on a number of projects together that are benefiting clients in the UK and in India as we build bridges between our countries

Dr Nick Rousseau
CEO and International Collaboration Consultant, Unconventional Connections Ltd