Evaluating electric stoves as a solution for household air pollution in the world's most polluted region

Air pollution is the largest killer among all environmental problems worldwide, ambient air pollution in India alone accounts for more than a million deaths annually (about 10% of all deaths), and the largest single source of ambient air pollution in India is household emissions from cooking with solid fuels. We examine the extent to which electric induction stoves substitute for traditional
solid-fuel stoves and thereby reduce air pollution in villages in northern India that are subject to unreliable power supply. We collect minute-by-minute data over a one-year period on electricity
availability, induction stove use, and PM2.5 in a sample of households, as well as data from detailed household surveys on cooking practices and other variables. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first long-term high-frequency data collected on household air quality in a developing country. We document extremely high levels of ambient and indoor air pollution.

Electric induction stoves have become available in the last few years and are relatively cheap to own and operate. However, since electric induction stoves are only beginning to be
adopted in rural India, it is not yet clear if they are suited to Indian culinary habits. Therefore, it is not clear that usage will be high, and secondly, even if usage is high, if the electric stoves will substitute
for polluting solid fuels rather than substituting only for LPG.

We therefore monitor induction stove use and study the impact of electricity on indoor air pollution in rural Uttar Pradesh.

Project status
Project | 1 May 2020