Solar Cooking
Last edited: 30 March 2022      
Clean Cooking Alliance logo, 4-19-21.png

The Clean Cooking Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves) is a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

The Clean Cooking Alliance on solar cooking[]

Direct solar thermal energy can be used to power solar cook stoves, which can save time, work, money, and combustible fuel in suitable circumstances. Unlike solar photovoltaic energy, which requires expensive PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity, solar thermal energy can be captured instantly and directly with a solar cooker, which generates zero emissions heat for cooking food and boiling water. By comparison, a one hundred square foot PV array would be needed to power a single hotplate. Solar thermal energy can also be used for solar hot water heaters, sterilizers and food driers.

  • Health Emissions: Use of direct solar thermal energy to power cookstoves produces no smoke, thus eliminating health impacts associated with cooking over open fires or crude stoves.
  • Climate Impacts: Solar energy use emits no greenhouse gasses and does not contribute to climate change.
  • Fuel Efficiency: While the efficiency of solar thermal energy for cooking is dependent on sunshine, this “fuel” is available free of charge, making it an extremely cost-effective solution, especially for populations with limited access to other fuel sources.
  • Fuel Availability: Most people cooking over open fires or on crude stoves live where sunshine is abundant and solar cooking is possible, as indicated by NASA’s solar insolation maps. However, in the sun’s absence there is often a need to burn combustibles as well, in which case multiple stove technologies can compliment each other. In some places solar can be the main source of household energy, while in others it is an excellent back-up energy source. As with other fuel efficient stoves, solar cookers are unfamiliar to most cooks in the developing world who are used to cooking over an open flame, so their adaptation to these stoves requires careful training and follow-up.[1]

Global cooking greenhouse gas emissions[]

Global greenhouse gas emissions by fuel type


  • NEW: March 2022: Clean Cooking Explorer is launched - The Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), Kartoza, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Nepal’s Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), and Nepal Open University (NOU), launched the Clean Cooking Explorer (CCE) – a novel geospatial tool that is now freely accessible to users everywhere. The CCE is an online, open-source, and interactive spatial platform for accelerating clean cooking access throughout a country. The platform enables data-driven planning, coordination, and decision-making by integrating and supporting analysis of geospatial datasets related to both the potential demand and supply of clean cooking services, to support the uptake and adoption of clean cooking in the study area.

Participants in the inaugural CCA women's mentorship program -Photo credit: Clean Cooking Alliance


  • February 16, 2016 (Letters of Intent), March 15, 2016 (Final Applications): The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is accepting proposals for the design and implementation of behavior change communication (BCC) interventions to accelerate market growth and drive adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in households. All Alliance partners are eligible to apply, however implementation is limited to the following Alliance focus countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. The Clean Cooking BCC Fund is intended to support innovative approaches that will change behaviors while contributing to a more systematic, coordinated and inclusive effort to increase consumer demand for clean and efficient cookstoves at scale. Request for Proposals – Clean Cooking Behavior Change Communication Fund

The HotPot solar cooker featured at the GACC launch of their "Empowered Entrepreneur Handbook" event. - Julie Greene

  • March 2015: The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves offers their catalog of approved stoves, including ten solar cookers and one heat-retention cooking device. See the catalog You can apply to have your solar cooker added. Read more...

Hillary Rodham Clinton Cookstoves Future Summit

  • November 2014: Hillary Clinton acknowledges solar cooking's role in solving cooking fuel crisis - In her keynote speech at a Global Alliance meeting, Hillary Clinton stated that students from the Clinton School of Public Service had traveled overseas to teach solar cooking.
  • September 2013: Climate and Clean Air Coalition High Level Assembly Announces Ambitious Agenda - Norway’s Minister of Environment and Minister of International Development served as co-hosts of the Assembly and made a significant announcement early. “We want to see other countries act,” said Bård Vegar Sohjell, Minister of Environment. “We want to enable those with the will, but not necessarily the resources, to act. Concrete efforts in developing countries are important. We are pleased to announce that Norway, in addition to strengthening our efforts at national level for this year and next year collectively, will contribute an additional 110 million Norwegian kroner (approximately 20 million US dollars) to reduce emissions of short lived climate pollutants, with a main focus on efforts in developing countries.” Read more..

Solar cooking promoters at the Clean Cooking Forum 2013 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  • December 2012: New study estimates 4 million deaths globally from household cooking smoke each year - The recently released "Global Burden of Disease 2010", funded by the Gates Foundation and just published in The Lancet, comes to this conclusion, and is double the previous accepted estimate. The study isolated the effects of cooking smoke only. There appears to be a shift from communicable children's diseases to non-communicable disease in adult populations as the major health threat affecting developing countries. The cooking problem is compounded by the fact that achieving a fifty percent reduction in cooking smoke does not correlate to a fifty percent reduction in respiratory disease. Substantial smoke reduction is required to see significant improvement. Read more about the air quality findings from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves press release.
  • December 2012: GACC welcomes interested promoters to come to the Spring 2013 Clean Cooking Forum to be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Visit the new event website:
  • November 2011: The EPA had decided to test at least one solar cooker for the GACC.
  • October 2011: The World Health Organization says that the smoke and gases from cooking fires in the world's poorest countries contribute to nearly two million deaths a year — that's more than malaria. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the cookstove industry announced last year that they would work together to create a market for better cookstoves, under the aegis of the United Nations. The U.S. government has committed over US$50 million. Half of that will go to NIH for research on how much household air pollution needs to be reduced to produce real health gains. Read more...
  • May 2011: On the public education front, Solar Household Energy(SHE) founding director Dar Curtis is participating as a contributing member of the Technology and Fuels Working Group of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. This alliance of governments, corporations and nonprofits is promoting cleaner cooking solutions than the open cooking fires and inefficient cookstoves used by three billion people around the world. Solar provides the very cleanest cooking of all cookstoves. Read more in the SHE spring update 2011.

Articles in the media[]


External links[]


Twitter: @cookstoves