The health, environmental and livelihood problems resulting from an estimated 2.7 billion people worldwide still depending on biomass to meet their basic energy needs are well known, and have motivated efforts by governments, civil society, entrepreneurs and development agencies, over more than three decades, to introduce cleaner energy-use practices. Interventions have typically aimed to encourage the introduction of more efficient cookstoves and cleaner fuels, since cooking is still the predominent use of biomass fuels. The disappointing results reflect how difficult this transformation is to achieve at any meaningful scale.
This study applies a technical innovation systems framework to better understand the reasons why transformation of the clean cooking sector has failed to occur in India. It looks at the actors in the sector, the rules that govern their behaviour, and the status of various essential processes that underpin a vibrant, self-sustaining market for new technologies. The study, based on a series of interviews with key stakeholders, finds that some key categories of actor are absent from the clean cooking sector, and that significant gaps and weaknesses exist in all system processes. This knowledge should help to reorient current interventions and thus boost the chances of successful market transformation.
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