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 ‘Cooking with Electricity: A Cost Perspective’ 

Background

 

Cooking with electricity could make a significant contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal No.7 by simultaneously enabling cost-effective access to modern energy and clean cooking, and proposing the steps needed to realize this opportunity.

The “Cooking with electricity: a cost perspective” report produced by the World Bank Group and the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) program presents five case studies comparing the current and projected costs to the consumer of a range of electric cooking (eCooking) solutions with current expenditures on cooking fuels. The findings show that eCooking can be a cost-effective option for some consumers in both off-grid and grid-connected settings. Innovative financing and delivery models are vital in making eCooking devices affordable. This will hinge upon private sector willingness—in particular solar companies, mini grid operators, and utilities—to adopt the technology as part of the services offered to customers. Unlocking these emerging opportunities could enable transformative impact for the 2.8 billion people still cooking with biomass, but it will take concerted global effort to create an enabling environment that can facilitate the integration of electric cooking into electrification planning and renewable energy investments.

 

Key findings

 

  • Compared with electric hotplates, electric pressure cookers (EPCs) can reduce energy demand by 80 percent for “heavy foods” (foods that require boiling for more than an hour) and by 50 percent across the entire range of foods that they are able to cook.

  • Battery-supported eCooking is already cost-effective for charcoal users in urban centers with electricity tariffs below $0.15/kWh.

  • By 2025, expected increases in charcoal prices and the falling costs of battery-supported solutions suggest that the cost of eCooking will likely be comparable to the cost of cooking with charcoal even in weak-grid and off-grid contexts ($8–39/month vs. $5–41/month respectively).