The Energy Department today announced up to $2.5 million available this year for applied research to advance clean biomass cookstove technologies for use in developing countries. The funding will support the development of innovative cookstove designs that allow users to burn wood or crop residues more efficiently and with less smoke than open fires and traditional stoves, helping to save lives and improve livelihoods. The Department of Energy, along with other federal agencies, is a founding partner of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a public-private partnership to advance cookstove technologies that improve indoor air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and deliver important benefits for people's health and the economies of developing nations around the world.
"Although significant progress has already been achieved in designing cookstoves with reduced emissions and increased efficiency, many challenges remain to develop high performing technologies that are also affordable, durable, easy-to-use, and meet international indoor air quality guidelines," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The funding opportunity announced today will help address these challenges, accelerating the widespread adoption of clean cooking technologies and developing a global market that builds on DOE investments in clean energy innovations."
The World Health Organization cites indoor smoke from cooking and heating as one of the top 10 threats to public health in poor, developing countries, contributing to nearly two million deaths each year. Clean cookstoves with reduced emissions and increased energy efficiency will help prevent some of these deaths caused by exposure to indoor smoke. Energy-efficient cookstoves also reduce fuel use, slow deforestation, and reduce the time families have to spend collecting fuel, which enable other livelihood-enhancing activities, like generating income, caring for family members' health, and attending school.
The Department encourages organizations including small businesses, non-profits, universities, and national laboratories, to submit proposals for applied research and development (R&D) grants to develop clean and efficient cookstoves. To help ensure the technologies developed will be usable and adopted, the R&D work will be based on assessments of user needs and prototypes will be tested in the laboratory and in the field. The Department is also interested in supporting the development of a software tool that integrates research findings to help stove designers and manufacturers improve a wide range of cookstoves.
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