Clean fuel for rural families in India a major challenge: evidence from four rounds of consumer expenditure survey
Ensuring universal access to reliable, sustainable, and modern energy at an affordable price by 2030, is one of the major targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Unfortunately, although the world has made tremendous progress in the last decade in ensuring access to sustainable energy in the form of electricity, mainly for lighting, until now, three billion people (39% of the total population) in the world still rely on unclean and unsafe cooking fuels. The people who rely on dirty and unsafe fuel for cooking are mostly concentrated in the rural areas of the global south. To attain the UN target of affordable, reliable, and clean energy for all by 2030, it is imperative to provide more focused attention to improve access to safe and clean cooking fuels and technologies. To begin with, it is crucial to explore the influential factors that impact rural households’ choice and use of safe and clean cooking fuels. This study examined the factors affecting the choice and use of different types of fuels for cooking the rural households of India. In the process, this study relied on four rounds of data collected by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) 46th(1991–92), 56th (2000–01), 63rd (2006–07), and 68th (2011–12) round. Applying the multivariate probit and two-limit Tobit estimation, this study reveals that the formal education of the spouse and household head and the economic solvency of the household are the major influential factors in influencing the cooking fuel choice and use by the rural households in India. The findings of this study suggest investing in general education and to improve the livelihoods of the rural households to rapid adoption and use of nonpolluting, clean, and modern fuel for cooking in the rural areas of developing countries.