Do Improved Biomass Cookstoves Reduce Pm2.5 Concentrations? If so, for Whom? Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

36 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019

See all articles by Randall Bluffstone

Randall Bluffstone

University of Reading

Daniel LaFave

Colby College

Alemu Mekonnen

Addis Ababa University - Department of Economics

Sahan Dissanayake

Colby College - Department of Economics

Abebe Damte Beyene

World Bank

Zenebe Gebreegziabher

Mekelle University - Department of Economics

Michael Toman

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: June 28, 2019

Abstract

Improved biomass cookstoves have been promoted as important intermediate technologies to reduce fuelwood consumption and possibly cut household air pollution in low-income countries. This study uses a randomized controlled trial to examine household air pollution reductions from an improved biomass cookstove promoted in rural Ethiopia, the Mirt improved cookstove. This stove is used to bake injera, which is very energy intensive and has a very particular cooking profile. In the overall sample, the Mirt improved cookstove leads to only minor reductions in mean household air pollution (10 percent on average). However, for those who bake injera in their main living areas, the Mirt improved cookstove reduces average mean household air pollution by 64 percent and median household air pollution by 78 percent -- although the resulting household air pollution levels are still many times greater than the World Health Organization's guideline. These large percentage reductions may reflect decreased emissions due to less use of fuelwood, given Mirt's energy-efficient design, and the likelihood that higher-emissions three-stone cooking is moved outside the main living area once a Mirt improved cookstove is installed. Households in the subsample who experience a greater decline in household air pollution tend to be less wealthy and more remotely located and burn less-preferred biomass fuels, like agricultural waste and animal dung, than households that cook in a separate area.

Keywords: Health Care Services Industry, Energy Demand, Energy and Mining, Energy and Environment, Pollution Management & Control, Air Quality & Clean Air, Brown Issues and Health, Global Environment, Disease Control & Prevention

Suggested Citation

Bluffstone, Randall and LaFave, Daniel and Mekonnen, Alemu and Dissanayake, Sahan and Beyene, Abebe Damte and Gebreegziabher, Zenebe and Toman, Michael, Do Improved Biomass Cookstoves Reduce Pm2.5 Concentrations? If so, for Whom? Empirical Evidence from Rural Ethiopia (June 28, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8930. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3430543

Randall Bluffstone (Contact Author)

University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Daniel LaFave

Colby College ( email )

Alemu Mekonnen

Addis Ababa University - Department of Economics

Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Sahan Dissanayake

Colby College - Department of Economics ( email )

Waterville, ME 04901
United States

Abebe Damte Beyene

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Zenebe Gebreegziabher

Mekelle University - Department of Economics ( email )

Adi Haki Campus
Post Box No. 451
Mekelle
Ethiopia

Michael Toman

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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