Energy Expert says using electricity to cook is cost-effective

A worker (right) repairs a power line in Austin, Texas, the US, on Saturday. Photo: VCG

Mr Seth Mahu, Director of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy says as Ghana is taking steps to expand clean cooking agenda, there is the need to promote cooking with electricity.

He said contrary to views that the cost of electricity is high, electric cooking was cost-effective and could give multiple benefits.

“Using electricity to cook can be cost-effective, affordable and help to address the social issues like the environmental hazards affecting our health with the use of charcoal and firewood.”

Mr Mahu said this in Accra when stakeholders, both local and international met at the 2022 Clean Cooking Forum to discuss key issues within the cleaning cooking space.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the director said the use of electricity to cook was the way to go now and not the future, adding that “we needed to educate people to cook during non-peak hours when the cost of electricity is low.

“I see electric cooking that can be targeted at urban and peri-urban areas, second cycle schools, universities… then gradually we scale it up to cover the other social stratification of the society,” he said.

Mr Mahu said the initiative was all in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7, which obligates UN member States to provide affordable and clean energy to all citizens by 2030.

Ghana is said to be losing its forest cover due to the exploitation of the vegetation for unprofitable ventures including wood fuel. In fact, it had been said that 15 million Ghanaians had been using unconventional ways of cooking.

Data shows that although 87 per cent of the Ghanaian population were connected to the national electricity grid, only one per cent currently used electricity as their primary cooking fuel.

It had also been noted that 37 per cent of the population currently used Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and 12 per cent of households used improved biomass stoves.

Preliminary study indicated that cooking with electricity in Accra proved to be 50 per cent cheaper than gas or Charcoal.

Prof Ed Brown, Research Director Modern Energy Cooking Services, UK, who attended the forum, said the cost of preparing jollof rice with electricity was a quarter of the cost using LPG or charcoal.

He said considering the economic crises people were grappling with, there would be the need to price down the electric cooking gadgets to whip up interest and patronage.

Madam Salamatu Adams, a trader at Odawna Market, told the GNA that she had started using a pressure cooker, a device for cooking with electricity.

“It is economical, environmentally friendly, and saves time and money. Both LPG and charcoal have become expensive to use,” she said.

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