Liquefied petroleum gas can save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase welfare in developing countries, according to a Multiconsult study | Photo: Multiconsult

Gas for cooking can save lives

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used as energy for cooking can save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase welfare in developing countries, according to a study carried out by Norwegian consulting engineering company Multiconsult on behalf of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad.

29. October 2020

On behalf of Norad, Multiconsult has carried out a study on the potential for the use of Liquid Petroleum gas (LPG), as a replacement for biomass energy for cooking in developing countries.

Energy from biomass in the form of wood or charcoal is the main source of primary energy in most developing countries. A majority of the population in these countries, a total of around 3 billion people, lack access to clean and modern forms of energy for cooking. The extensive use of biomass and traditional cooking methods with open fires thus constitute one of the biggest health challenges in developing countries.

“Household air pollution annually causes 3 million premature deaths. This amounts to a total welfare loss equivalent to 1.5 trillion dollars, according to the World Bank. In addition, the extraction of large parts of the biomass is not sustainable and can lead to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mari Sofie Furu, Multiconsult’s project manager for the study.

The study conducted by Multiconsult show that the use of LPG results in minimal greenhouse gas emissions and very little indoor pollution. At the same time, the study shows that there are significant barriers to increased use of LPG for cooking in developing countries.

“Favourable framework conditions and reduced cost barriers, better accessibility and increased knowledge in the population are essential to make LPG a realistic energy alternative for cooking. It will make it possible to exploit the potential of LPG to significantly improve the health situation of the population and ultimately save lives. And last, LPG will limit greenhouse gas emissions, particularly soot, from developing countries,” says Mari Sofie Furu.