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Department 1

Health Sciences



Approximately 80% of Ethiopia's energy consumption is dominated by woody biomass fuel use, resulting in 91.2 million tons of firewood and 4.2 million tons of charcoal consumed annually. Ethiopia's dependency on non-sustainable energy, especially for cooking, has been a major concern for the nation for the past 30 years, contributing to deforestation, climate change, and adverse human health impacts.


Our objective was to document the work of Gaia Association and the implementation of the ethanol CleanCook stove in the refugee camp and urban settings of Ethiopia. We then assessed the potential for the scale-up of ethanol as a household fuel.


We utilized the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of the ethanol cookstove intervention. We obtained secondary data from a variety of sources to evaluate a.) The performance of the CleanCook ethanol stove; b.) Effectiveness of the ethanol cookstove implementation; and, c.) Barriers to scale-up and commercialization of ethanol use as a household fuel. In addition, we conducted primary analysis of qualitative surveys to evaluate the perceptions of the ethanol and adoption of the CleanCook stove.


Our case study results provide critical insight into the 13-year implementation of the CleanCook ethanol stove in Ethiopia. Laboratory tests demonstrate that the CleanCook stove reduces harmful emissions compared to biomass stoves, and preliminary field tests show 24-hour average PM2.5 levels of 200 μg/m3. To-date 8731 CleanCook stoves were distributed to refugee households, while an additional 500 were sold at a subsided price to low-income urban households. CleanCook stove users report the continued use of multiple stoves.


The CleanCook ethanol stove has been implemented as an energy intervention for the vulnerable refugee population in Ethiopia for over 13 years. There has been limited success of a subsidized CleanCook stove among low-income households in Addis Ababa. This case study demonstrates the complexities of promoting a new fuel for household cooking, and the numerous obstacles and stagnations in implementation. Ethanol demonstrates some potential for scale-up and commercialization as a household fuel in Addis Ababa, but it may require simultaneous stabilization of ethanol supply, growth of a city-wide distribution infrastructure, and an affordably priced stove and fuel.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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