Modern Energy Cooking Services


Loughborough University – making sustainable cooking available to developing countries


Worldwide, nearly three billion people rely on traditional solid fuels such as wood or coal and technologies for cooking and heating. This has severe implications for health, gender relations, economic livelihoods, environmental quality and global and local climates. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels contributes to three to four million premature deaths every year more than malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Loughborough University’s Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme, which is funded by the FCDO, is leveraging investment in renewable energies (both grid and off-grid) to address the clean cooking challenge. MECS is focused on providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy for people in the developing world.

After decades of investments in improving biomass cooking, focused largely on increasing the efficiency of biomass use in domestic stoves, the technologies developed 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 with electricity.

MECS draws on the UK’s world-leading universities and innovators. The programme combines creating a stronger evidence base for transitions to modern energy cooking services in FCDO priority countries with technological innovations that will drive the transition forward.

The aim of MECS is to create a market-ready range of innovations (technology and business models) which lead to improved choice of affordable and reliable modern energy cooking services for consumers.


For more information about MECS contact Ed Brown, MECS Research Director on