Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS)
Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) is a five-year programme funded by UK Aid (DFID).
By integrating modern energy cooking services into the planning for electricity access, quality, reliability and sustainability, MECS hopes to leverage investment in renewable energies (both grid and off-grid) to address the clean cooking challenge. MECS is implementing a strategy focused on including the cooking needs of households into the investment and action on ‘access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy for all’.
Existing strategies are struggling to solve the problem of unsustainable, unhealthy but enduring cooking practices which place a particular burden on women. After decades of investments in improving biomass cooking, focused largely on increasing the efficiency of biomass use in domestic stoves, the technologies developed are said to have had limited impact on development outcomes. The Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme aims to break out of this “business-as-usual” cycle by investigating how to rapidly accelerate a transition from biomass to genuinely ‘clean’ cooking (i.e. with electricity or gas).