Global Bioenergy Partnership

A woman cooking on an open fire
Bioethanol as a clean cooking fuel in Africa and Asia

Traditional use of biomass for cooking can have harmful effects on people’s health and wellbeing, and the environment, leading to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, poor indoor air quality and deforestation.

Ethanol cookstoves have recently emerged as a valuable and widely accepted bioenergy option for clean cooking.

Ethanol is a plant-based alternative that could be produced from crop residues or dedicated crops in marginalized land, without affecting food production. Ethanol cookstoves have several benefits, such as improved indoor air quality and reduced emissions, but their widespread adoption in developing countries faces challenges: limited infrastructure, high costs, and limited awareness about the need for high quality and safety standards for both ethanol cookstoves and fuel.


The project aims to facilitate cross-sectoral dialogues for the adoption of sustainable bioenergy, focusing on ethanol for clean cooking in African and Asian markets. It seeks to increase understanding, awareness, and adoption of internationally recognized standards related to ethanol fuel and related cookstoves.

The final objective is to support the increased use of ethanol for household energy, resulting in positive impacts on human health, the global environment, green jobs, and economic growth for farmers.


Activities include engaging key stakeholders in African countries to discuss transitioning from traditional to modern bioenergy, with a special focus on ethanol's benefits for clean cooking. The plan involves organizing national-level dialogue events, conducting an online workshop to raise awareness, and developing a report on the advantages and challenges of ethanol as a clean cooking fuel in African and Asian countries.



10th GBEP Bioenergy Week highlights ethanol as a sustainable alternative for clean cooking


At the GBEP Bioenergy Week in 2023, a session highlighted the benefits of ethanol as a sustainable alternative to traditional biomass cooking methods. A clean-burning fuel that can be produced from a variety of renewable feedstocks, ethanol is a proven alternative to traditional biomass fuels, such as wood and charcoal, which are often inefficient and have a negative impact on the environment.

Ethanol has the potential to play a significant role in improving access to clean cooking in developing countries. However, the session also underscored the challenges in scaling up ethanol for clean cooking, which include the need for standardized production and distribution, awareness-raising on the benefits of ethanol, and making ethanol cookstoves more affordable for households. By addressing these challenges, ethanol could become a mainstream clean cooking solution for millions of people around the world.


Harnessing the power of ethanol for clean cooking in East Africa

Around 2.3 billion people worldwide still lack access to clean cooking and use traditional woodfuel for cooking and heating. This poses serious health and environmental risks, including indoor air pollution, deforestation, and GHG emissions.

But there is a promising solution: ethanol cookstoves. Ethanol cookstoves are clean-burning, efficient, and affordable alternatives to traditional biomass stoves. They produce fewer emissions, improve indoor air quality, and help protect our environment.

Watch this webinar and learn the market opportunities for ethanol as a clean cooking fuel in East Africa.




National Dialogue on "Ethanol for Clean Cooking in Rwanda and Uganda"

In the third quarter of 2024, the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) and its partners will be hosting a National Dialogue on "Ethanol for Clean Cooking in Rwanda and Uganda". This event will bring together key stakeholders from the government, bioenergy industry, and civil society to discuss the potential of ethanol as a clean cooking fuel in these two countries.



Beneficiary countries:

Asian and African countries; National Stakeholders dialogues will be held in Uganda and Rwanda

September 2023 - August 2025



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