Thu. Dec 13th, 2018

Clean and efficient heating south-south knowledge exchange event: Learning together for cleaner air and better life

In China, a South-South exchange helps countries yearning for clean and efficient heating learn from each other.
 
Places with cold climates need access to a reliable and efficient heat supply for the health of their population. But in developing countries, the majority of rural and peri-urban households do not have access to centralized heating or gas networks. Instead, they use traditional heating stoves that use solid fuels like coal, wood, and dung for heating. These stoves are often inefficient (with thermal efficiency as low as 25%-40% compared to 70% or above for efficient stoves) and emit large amounts of pollutants (e.g., CO and PM2.5), causing indoor and outdoor air pollution with negative health and environmental impacts. For example, measurements conducted as part of a pilot project on efficient and clean heating stoves in Kyrgyzstan implemented during the 2016/2017 heating season showed that PM2.5 emissions reach levels of up to 11.5 mg/m3 during ignition and refueling.
 
As a reference, WHO Air Quality Guidelines for the annual mean of PM2.5 concentration are 0.01 mg/m3. Over half of the children and adults surveyed for the pilot project had coughs, headaches and other discomforts, especially after igniting and refueling the stoves. Women and children who spend more time at home are particularly affected by indoor air pollution.
 
The low thermal efficiency of traditional heating stoves means that more fuel is needed (and more carbon emissions if coal is used) and households have higher fuel expenses. A recent survey conducted in Tajikistan shows that the rural households on average spend up to 15% of their total budgets on heating during the cold season.
 
Insufficient heating in homes with already cold indoor temperature is also common. According to a recent article from the Lancet (pdf), most temperature-related deaths are attributable to cold temperature.  
 
From April 17-19, government officials and experts from China, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were brought together to share their experiences at the Clean and Efficient Heating South-South Knowledge Exchange Event. These countries are working with the World Bank to find clean and efficient heating solutions that include the use of clean stoves. Although each country has its own characteristics, they often face similar institutional, technical, and financial challenges, and can learn from each other’s example.
 
The event was organized in conjunction with China’s 11th Clean Stove Expo. China has the largest clean stove industry in the world and has implemented various government-supported clean stove programs. The event was supported by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), and was organized by the Bank and the Rural Energy and Environment Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture and the China Agricultural University. 
 
Hundreds of manufacturers showcased their products, providing a good opportunity for participants to see the latest in the Chinese clean stove industry. A forum was also organized for participants to learn about…

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