In a largely globalized world, characterized by immense techlogical advancements in many sectors, many developing countries depend on biomass energy for sustenance even today. Much of the Government of India's projects related to the improved stove programme have been branded a 'failure'. However, they appear to have promising features. Cleaner Hearths, Better Homes draws on case studies from the Indian states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal, and other stove programmes around the globe. The book describes India's best improved biomass stove programmes, and recommends ways in which the international community can promote the use of more affordable stoves as against the traditional cookstoves. These new stoves are energy efficient as well as easy to use, thereby leading to a significant reduction in indoor air pollution and health risks. The findings of the Indian government's stove programmes are translated into a set of recommendations in this book that could prove beneficial for half the world's population that depends on biomass energy for their livelihoods.
Douglas F. Barnes is President, Energy for Development, Washington, DC. Priti Kumar is Senior Environment Specialist, The World Bank. Keith Openshaw is Independent Consultant, The World Bank.