Energy Working Group Talk: The Role of the Private Sector in the Diffusion of Improved Cookstoves



, Energy & Sustainable Development, Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions, Indian School of Business

Date and Time

May 19, 2010 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM


By Invitation Only.


Stanford University

FSI Contact

Sunny Wang

Visiting Assistant Professor Gireesh Shrimali from the Indian School of Business will be presenting work currently in progress at PESD: An examination of the role of the private sector in the diffusion of improved cookstoves through a comparative case study of private-sector commercial operations.  In particular, he will present relevant background, the methodology used in our research, and some preliminary results.

More than 2.4 billion people worldwide rely on traditional biomass for cooking, leading to negative health effects, lost productivity, and environmental harm. Improved cookstoves burn fuel more efficiently, requiring less fuel and resulting in decreased emissions.  Yet after more than twenty five years of effort, mainly by governments and NGOs, there has been little progress in disseminating such stoves more widely. Such programs have generally been less successful than anticipated due to issues of sustainability of subsidies, stove design, marketing and adoption of new stove products and scale of effort.  Increasingly, for-profit models run by the private sector are seen as potential solutions to these problems.  However, the participation of the private sector raises its own set of questions regarding how viable business enterprises can be created to serve lower income consumers.

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