A major positive result from GLPGP's deep engagement in Cameroon has been the country's first national LPG Master Plan to expand uptake of LPG for cooking purposes, well beyond existing market reach. This was completed by an inter-ministerial committee with coordination and major support from GLPGP, and approved and announced by the Government in December 2016. The LPG Master Plan defines over $400 million of LPG investments and initiatives to deliver LPG affordably and sustainably to 58% of Cameroon's population by 2030 (18 million people), up from 12% currently.
In addition to saving lives by reducing HAP, implementation of the plan is expected to create 18,000 jobs nationwide, and save nearly four million tons of wood (15 million trees) every year due to the reduction in biomass use for cooking, resulting in a projected annual emission reduction of 3.4 million tons of CO2 per year.
In January 2017, GLPGP started work to help the government with initial structuring of the expected investment projects, to raise the funds needed for the market development plan.
In February 2017, GLPGP and local private sector and civil society partners launched the "Bottled Gas For Better Life" microfinance project, the first of its kind in Cameroon. The project aims to make LPG more affordable for lower income families by providing loans of 50,000 CFA (US$81) to switch from solid cooking fuels to LPG. Participating households make monthly repayments of 8,300 CFA (US$13), with no interest charged in the pilot phase.
GLPGP developed the program to address the challenge of upfront costs that prevent many families from switching to LPG. Loans were provided to an initial 145 households from Batoke village in Southwestern Cameroon for their purchase of LPG start-up kits, consisting of a double-burner ignition stove, a 12.5kg filled gas bottle, a rubber hose and a regulator.
The University of Liverpool with the support of Cameroonian research partners is measuring health and other of the switch to LPG. The program will be expanded to a targeted 1,000 families assuming results from the pilot phase are positive; initial results have already led to additional demand for LPG for cooking by a neighboring village.
India Rural LPG Distribution Project
Following extensive studies on consumers' preferences, cooking fuel usage habits and willingness to pay for modern forms of energy in rural Gujarat, GLPGP â€“ in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of British Columbia and local NGO partners â€“ launched a pilot project promoting adoption of LPG through consumer education and improved last-mile distribution. The first users for the pilot obtained their LPG connections in October 2016. The project aims to provide global researchers with data about rural LPG adoption and its impact on health.
As co-lead on this initiative, GLPGP contributes technical and logistical advice on LPG supply, and will help disseminate study findings to key national and international stakeholders, including the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and major LPG companies operating in India.
Climate and Clean Air Coalition
GLPGP is an official partner of the UNEP-led Climate And Clean Air Coalition, which aims to promote the reduction of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane and black carbon to meet global climate targets. GLPGP has an active role in the Household Initiative on Reducing SLCPs from Household Cooking and Domestic Heating, thereby raising greater awareness about the role of LPG in achieving global climate targets.
World Health Organisation Monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7
GLPGP is supporting the World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank in a two-year process to define a set of questions to monitor SDG7 in relation to primary reliance on clean fuels and technologies. The questions will be based on experiences and feedback from various partners including GLPGP, which helped pilot survey questions in a large population sample in Cameroon.
Research on LPG, Health and Climate
In March 2017, the Clean Cooking for Africa Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), convened by KfW to strengthen the evidence base for clean cooking with LPG, published a peer-reviewed scientific report, Liquefied Petroleum Gas as a Clean Cooking Fuel for Developing Countries: Implications for Climate, Forests and Affordability. This report, prepared with significant input from GLPGP, brings together recent findings that the use of LPG instead of traditional biomass fuels and kerosene, among the 3.1 billion people currently using these, would contribute little or no net climate warming effect and would protect forest resources. Life cycle assessments, which analyze emissions for a range of fuels across production, processing, distribution and use, have found that LPG performs better than non-renewably harvested biomass for net CO2 emissions, black carbon and other short-lived climate pollutants.
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH), with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has launched a US$30.5 million, multi-country research trial to investigate the correlation between the use of LPG for clean cooking and measurable health impacts, particularly for women and children. Emory University researchers and their in-country partners are conducting the trial in India, Rwanda, Guatemala, and Peru over a 30-month period. GLPGP is providing technical support on the supply aspects of the trial, and on user behavior change and education in the safe use of LPG.
GLPGP and Clean Air Asia are partners in an NIH-funded study, launched in March 2017, to evaluate Indonesiaâ€™s â€œZero Keroâ€ national-scale conversion program from kerosene to LPG for household use. The study aims to understand factors contributing to the five-fold increase in the number of LPG users since the program was launched by the Government in 2007; investigate the current situation in terms of LPG urban and rural penetration and related Government plans; and offer recommendations for LPG expansion in areas of the country not currently targeted by the program. The study also aims to highlight lessons learned that Clean Air Asia can use to influence policy-making in other Southeast Asian countries (as well as globally).
GLPGP, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and the Norwegian Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO), has started a 12-month research project in Cameroon. The study aims to model the health and climate impacts of LPG expansion in alignment with the Governmentâ€™s goal to make LPG the primary cooking fuel for 58% of its population by 2035. Study findings will be used to inform the energy strategies of key public and private sector players in Cameroon, as well as other sub-Saharan African countries that wish to undertake large-scale transitions to LPG.
Increasing the Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Cooking in Developing Countries
This article, co-authored by GLPGP and the World Bank, explains how developing countries are seeking to increase the use of LPG as a clean cooking solution to reduce household air pollution, improve health outcomes, save nonrenewable biomass, and support local economic development. While LPG will not be the solution for the worldâ€™s poorest people In the absence of targeted subsidies, many developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, are recognizing it as key to increasing access to clean cooking energy and making progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7; they are adopting ambitious targets to scale up its use across the continent.
Energy Access in Africa: National and Regional Targets for Clean Cooking with LPG by 2030
Developing country governments are increasingly focused on the role of LPG as a main fuel for clean cooking, and many are setting aggressive targets to increase the share of LPG in their national energy mix. These data highlight the importance of efforts to support governments and other stakeholders undertaking large-scale transitions from traditional fuels to LPG for clean cooking. National LPG penetration targets set by countries in Africa are summarized here.